Read the full article by Ainslie Drewitt-Smith (ABC Illawarra)

“An Aboriginal community has launched a class action against the Federal Government claiming chemical contamination on their land from Department of Defence operations has ‘destroyed’ their livelihoods.

The residents of Wreck Bay, on the New South Wales south coast, allege Defence negligently allowed perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals to leech into surface water, groundwater, and soil.

The chemicals are found in firefighting foams that had been used on neighbouring naval base HMAS Creswell and the Jervis Bay Range Facility for more than three decades since the 1970s.

Defence has since erected signs warning against fishing from waterways in the area, putting an end to Aboriginal practices that have existed inside Jervis Bay Territory for thousands of years.

‘We can’t go and hunt and gather anymore, we can’t teach our younger generation coming through about our culture, like I learnt as a kid,’ traditional owner James Williams said…”