Australian Greens Senator For NSW, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has visited the Port Stephens area and heard 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.
On the PFAS contamination issue, Senator Faruqi said:
“Residents are sick and tired of having to fight the federal government for compensation for the pollution of their land and water by the Department of Defence. They have been fighting a David versus Goliath battle for years.
“I’m concerned to hear that there has been no ‘off-base’ clean up and remediation of contaminated water and soil, especially in the drains.
“I sat on the Senate Inquiry into the issue and I strongly believe that there needs to be a proper compensation package. Importantly it must include buybacks of properties that have been significantly affected.
“The Federal Government caused the PFAS pollution so they must take full responsibility for it. The community has waited long enough. Communities have suffered enough. It’s time to take concrete action to help them. And it’s time concrete action is taken now.
On the proposed sand mine in Bobs Farm, Senator Faruqi said: “The proposal for a huge new sand mine at Bobs Farm is very concerning and has the potential to impact on the water supply for nearby farms and will involve significant clearing of bushland. Parents at the nearby school are really worried about the pollution from the mining as well as the nearly 200 truck movements a day right past the school.
“This project clearly doesn't have community support and has significant environmental risks. I’ll be making a submission opposing the proposal,” she concluded.