Commenting on the class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Defence this week, Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said the Department’s failure to properly act on this issue has forced local residents to take action.
“It should never have come to this,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“After over a year of anguish, patience and stoic resilience, residents in Williamtown feel that they have exhausted all other avenues and have filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Defence.”
Senator Rhiannon wished the residents all the best in their quest for justice and a solution to the uncertainty.
“The Defence Department have failed time and time again to communicate clearly with the community, to set out plans for remediation, to guarantee some level of compensation, and to enter into critical discussions about property devaluations and buybacks.”
“Instead, the level of action we have seen from Defence has been sluggish and passive at an absolute best. At worst there is radio silence.”
Senator Rhiannon said the Greens have put questions to the Department, asking for an update on how each item under the $55 million assistance package announced in June is progressing.
“We are currently awaiting a response,” she said.
“We remain extremely concerned at the lack of information about assistance offered to workers who may be exposed to toxic levels of PFCs, including current and former Defence staff and contractors.”
“The Greens will continue to keep pressure on the Department to clean up the contamination and provide fair compensation to locals.”