Response to reporting by the Newcastle Herald on connecting properties outside of the Williamtown investigation area to town water
12 September 2016
Defence wishes to correct the record in relation to the Newcastle Herald articles “WATER WIN – Toxic Truth: Defence set to connect residents to town supply” of 10 September and “Foam is 'natural’ say EPA officials” of 12 September, which states Defence is now considering connecting residents to town water after PFAS was found outside of the Williamtown investigation area.
Defence's investigation into the possibility of connecting residents outside of the Williamtown investigation area commenced well in advance of PFAS being detected outside of the area.
The recent low level detection of PFAS outside the Williamtown investigation area and the consideration of extending reticulated water to some residents outside the investigation area are not related. This advice was provided at a recent Williamtown Community Reference Group meeting and to the Newcastle Herald.
The Australian Government made an election commitment for Defence to provide $3.5m in funding to fund capital works to connect properties in the Williamtown investigation area to town water. As a part of this project, Defence has been assessing the opportunity to include a limited number of residents situated adjacent to the proposed water extension works but outside of the investigation area, while the opportunity presented to do so.
Defence is examining those options and will make a decision once the advice is available.