Read the full article by Mathew Kelly
“Newly appointed Defence Minister Christopher Pyne had no words of reassurance or support red zone residents as they reflected on how their lives had been changed forever over the past three years.
Instead the Minister deflected questions about the contamination scandal to the Department of Defence.
A Defence spokesman ruled out a buy-back of contaminated properties.
He also announced the department would release later this year the report for the final stage of an investigation undertaken to understand and assess potential exposure risks of PFAS contamination to the environment.
Three Defence Ministers, three Assistant Ministers of Defence and other federal government ministers have offered a combination of statements over the past three years that residents have labelled ignorant, contradictory, and hollow.
‘There is no link, no link whatsoever, between PFOS and PFOA and adverse human health effects,’ former Assistant Minister for Defence, and now Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack asserted in April 2016.
A month later former environment Minister Greg Hunt said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the PFAS contamination in Port Stephens.
‘The more we have discovered about what happened in the past, the stronger my concern is,’ he said.
The federal government has committed $55.2 million over five years to fund clean drinking water programs at four RAAF bases, including Williamtown, with a further $17.9 million for the Department of Environment to respond to PFAS contamination issues…
Former Defence Minister Marise Payne assured residents she understood the wish of affected residents to be ’empowered to make decisions about what they do in relation to their own futures on their own properties’ after meeting with them in May 2017…
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said she was appalled at the government’s contempt for residents.
‘Three years ago, we hoped that there would have been solutions offered by now. It’s difficult to fathom that so much time has passed with so little action taken.’
‘Through no fault of their own, they have lost options for their future – trapped on properties they can no longer use.’ ”