TWO weeks on from the Defence Minister’s visit to the Williamtown base and residents reactions are mixed.
A dozen members from the community were escorted into the base, leaving the scheduled meeting an hour late.
The meeting came only days before the government announced new drinking water standards for perflorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid that are more than 10 times less strenuous than previous regulation.
Secretary of Salt Ash Community First, Julie Bailey told News of The Area, “I walked into the meeting hopeful and left disappointed. While it was nice to know that they would be paying for blood testing for affected residents after the Election (if re elected), she really didn’t have anything else to share with us.”
“We were hoping to put a human face to this terrible situation, to let her know that we matter,” she said.
Unsuccessful Liberal Candidate for Paterson, Karen Howard set up the opportunity.
Ms. Howard told News of The Area, “It was great to have the minister here to directly meet with the residents.”
“There are a number of questions the residents had for the minister and she’ll come back with answers. I’m very confident that the keys issues that have been raised will be addressed quickly,” she said.
Residents of the local action groups held a protest on Saturday along the A1 Highway near the Medowie turn off.
They generated signs to rally against the new drinking water standards and to gain community recognition of the issue in a public space.
By Simone JOHNSON