Related — Cabinet twice knocked back compensation for toxic sites, inquiry hears

“RESIDENTS living in the Williamtown red zone have told a parliamentary inquiry how they ‘live in hell every day’ and are ‘frightened’ to remain on their contaminated properties but are trapped because no one will buy them.

More than 50 residents attended a sitting of the inquiry at the Mercure Newcastle Airport on Tuesday into the federal government’s management of PFAS contamination in and around Department of Defence bases.

Cabbage Tree Road resident Jenny Robinson told the inquiry her family’s ‘whole world had been turned upside down’ after they learnt of the PFAS contamination via the media in September 2015.

‘All we’ve been given is restrictions on how we should live,’ Mrs Robinson said. ‘We can’t remove a barrow of soil… but the expansion of the RAAF base goes on like nothing has happened.’…

An emotional Mrs Robinson, supported by her husband Terry, said it had been left for the community to look after itself and resident stress levels were overwhelming.

‘Our faith in the right thing would be done has taken a huge beating,’ she said. ‘We live this hell every day.’

Fullerton Cove resident Sue Walker told the inquiry the federal government had a ‘moral obligation’ to put residents’ ‘safety first’.

She said the situation residents had found themselves in, through no fault of their own, was ‘immoral’ and ‘inhumane’.

‘It’s now like a game of Russian roulette for us,’ she said. ‘It’s disgusting.’

Mrs Walker told how she found it unbelievable that the Turnbull government was ignoring the US EPA’s conclusion ‘the weight of evidence’ supports the conclusion that the chemicals are a human health hazard…

The Coaltion Against PFAS president Lindsay Clout said the community wanted the contamination cleaned up and compensation packages to meet the needs of residents and businesses.

He said Defence was still unable to stop the contamination ‘running off the base’ and there was no project management plan in place to deal with the issue, despite residents requesting one three years ago.”

Read the full article by Donna Page