The Senate has tonight passed Greens Senator for NSW Mehreen Faruqi’s motion ordering the Government to table their response to the recommendations contained in the PFAS report by midday tomorrow, 10 September.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The Government has cruelly left communities in limbo for the nine months since the parliamentary committee into PFAS contamination handed down its report calling for action. They must now respond to the recommendations.
“PFAS contamination is an extremely serious issue affecting thousands across the country, including in my home state of NSW.
“This contamination has caused significant mental, emotional and financial stress and anxiety for people and it is simply not fair. The Government must stop stringing affected communities along and show them the respect they deserve.
“Communities are waiting anxiously on the Government’s response to key recommendations of the committee, including provision of a compensation scheme and the possibility of buybacks, assistance to property owners and businesses in the affected areas, and the appointment of a Coordinator-General to manage the national response to PFAS contamination.
“Ultimately, the Federal Government is responsible for the PFAS pollution, it’s time they owned up to it. The community has waited and suffered long enough. It’s time for action,” she concluded.
Text of the motion:
Senators Faruqi, Kitching, McCarthy, Patrick and Sheldon: To move—
(1) That the Senate notes that:
(a) the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade into the management of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in and around Defence bases (PFAS report), was tabled on 3 December 2018, making nine recommendations; and
(b) the President’s report to the Senate on the status of government responses to parliamentary committee reports as at 30 June 2019, indicates that a government response to the PFAS report has not been tabled.
(2) That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Defence, by 12 pm on 10 September 2019, the government’s response to the recommendations contained in the PFAS report.