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Greens supporting local residents on PFAS contamination and sand mining: Senator Mehreen Faruqi visiting Tuesday 22 January

Greens supporting local residents on PFAS contamination and sand mining: Senator Mehreen Faruqi visiting Tuesday 22 January

WHEN:  TIME 2.30 pm Tuesday 22 January

WHERE:  Pauls Corner Saltash – public car park behind eastbound bus stop

WHAT:   NSW Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi will visit Port Stephens on Tuesday 22 January to hear first hand from local residents about their concerns over multiple threats in the Williamtown, Saltash and Bobs Farm areas, including PFAS contamination and a proposed massive increase in sand mining. Senator Faruqi has been active on the Williamtown PFAS contamination scandal both as an MP in the NSW Parliament as Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson, and since taking over from Lee Rhiannon in mid 2018, as a Greens Senator for NSW. She also sat on the Senate inquiry into PFAS in and around Defense bases that focused on the issue at Williamtown.

Senator Faruqi said:

“More than 600 local families continue to face an uncertain future, with their health and finances in doubt.

“More than 3 years after the contamination was publicly revealed the federal government is no closer to resolving this issue and allowing people closure,” she said.

"The government has decided that there will be no property buyback scheme which is unacceptable. There are no options but for compensation to include buyback. The government must take responsibility for the pollution.'

“Unfortunately this is an issue that is not going to go away. It has become increasingly clear that PFAS has affected many more sites across Australia.”  

“The Morrison government must take responsibility for this crisis, but the urgent need for a national response plan must not delay financial assistance for local residents and businesses.”

As if the contamination was not enough, 25,000 people in the eastern part of Port Stephens face the prospect of a massive increase in sand mining. A major new mine on Council owned land in the contaminated area has already been approved and another huge quarry is proposed for nearby Bobs Farm. Both will clear valuable habitat, further congest already inadequate roads and negatively impact on local residents.

Senator Faruqi said “I call on the Berejiklian State Government to step in and protect the Port Stephens community from an unacceptable increase in quarrying activity.”

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