Government’s response to Defence PFAS contamination

THE second progress report of the PFAS sub-committee’s ongoing scrutiny of remediation in and around Defence bases has been presented to federal parliament.

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade PFAS subcommittee chairman John McVeigh said the government’s response to a 2018 report on PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases was under the microscope in the new report.

“The sub-committee had made a commitment to PFAS-affected communities to evaluate progress under Defence’s National PFAS Investigation and Management Program while the response was being prepared,” Dr McVeigh said.

The government response to the report was presented to parliament in February, which maintained, overall, that current arrangements adequately address, or can address, the issues the committee raised more than a year before.

The report tabled by the sub-committee makes 10 recommendations to reform both high level and in-practice processes under the national PFAS program.

These are grouped in four evaluative chapters, which respond to recommendations made in the 2018 review.

“While the sub-committee acknowledges good work is being done, the committee wants the government and its agencies to be more accountable to the public and people affected by PFAS,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This means providing the facts, getting people involved, delivering support and compensation, and driving through legislation and international agreements that will phase out PFAS firefighting foams permanently.”

The PFAS inquiry’s second progress report is now available on the inquiry website.

More information about the PFAS sub-committee’s progressive scrutiny of PFAS remediation work, submissions received and the public hearing information is also available on the inquiry site.