After years of evidence concerning the level of pollution at the RAAF base Williamtown, near Newcastle, (and every other RAAF Base) the government has done virtual nothing. This problem is in every Defence Air base in Australia and potentially overseas as well. The actual response of Government has been: Do little – admit little – release little information
History of the PFAS problem
In 1988 the Australian government chose to import a firefighting foam that was already under investigation in the USA for causing various cancers to those who handled the product and for those who lived nead the areas where the firefighting foam was used. The firefighting foam was used for training purposs at all Defence force bases and at some other domestic airports, as well as at a number of mine rescue training sites throughout Australia. After some years bubles of various cancers suffers were found near airports especially where the water table was very close to the surface of the land or where potentially swampy type lands surrounds the airports. One such airport was the Williamtown Airport near Newcastle, where the pollution has been found in the ground water and creeks near the airport. The Defence Department went into denial mode and claimed that the link was too distant for any responsibility to be able to be placed upon them. Successive Ministers for defence and successive Governments of all configerations all avoided responsiblity; whereas when they were in opposition condemned the government of the day for taking insufficent action. The situation remains unresolved. There are processes that maybe able to remove the PFAS from the soils and the ground water, This process has been offered to the Government but not taken upn as yet.
C4C calls on the government to:
- Commence the cleanup of the pollutants immediatly
- Commence the buy-back of the affected properties to those who want to leave the area
- Apologise to all those harmed by the pollution
- Accept the responsibility for the medical bills for all who are suspected of having health concerns due to the Pollution of the PFAS