Shoalhaven City Council will advocate on behalf of Wreck Bay residents who are concerned about the health impacts of PFAS contamination.
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In recent months it came to light the historical use of firefighting foams such as PFAS and PFOS may have caused health problems including cancer.
While residents affected by the PFAS chemicals from defence’s historic use of firefighting foams around the Williamtown RAAF base near Newcastle, Oakey Army Aviation Centre in south-east Queensland and RAAF Base Tindal in Katherine, Northern Territory have been offered blood tests, there has been no such offer for around the 500 residents of both Wreck Bay and Jervis Bay villages.
Defence says PFAS has been detected both on and off the base/range in the area and flagged warnings for local resident and visitors.
On Tuesday night, Shoalhaven Councillors condemned the ACT government for failing to provide vital health services to Wreck Bay residents.
Residents have asked for urgent blood testing and regular checks.
Councillors have concerns that residents’ concerned have been overlooked by the territory government due to their geographic isolation from Canberra.
“The fact is, they are members of our community, any time they travel from their home they are part of our community,” Shoalhaven Cr Mitchell Pakes said.
“We expect the ACT government to deal with people in their territory, too.”
At the December council meeting, councillors voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation below.
1. Council write to the federal government (Ministers for Defence, Health and Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Council to the Prime Minister) to advocate on behalf of the people living and working on the Booderee peninsula. The community is very concerned for the ongoing health of its people and request that the government undertake urgent blood testing. Council acknowledges the failure of the ACT government in supporting their residents. The government also need to support people with their long-term health outcomes and should work in collaboration with the community to monitor their health into the future.
2. The government assist Shoalhaven City Council in getting the facts into the media and encouraging residents and visitors to stay abreast of facts not fiction.
3. Council invites the Department of Defence to brief council in the new year on their findings of the location of PFAS contamination in the Shoalhaven.
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