Response to reporting by News.com.au on release of preliminary sampling testing
17 August 2016
Defence wishes to correct the record in relation to the News.com.au article “Erin Brockovich warns about potential cases of chemical contamination in Australian water supply” of Tuesday 16th August, which states that Oakey residents, like Williamtown, have been informed that toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at a nearby Defence Base have infected their local water supply.
Toowoomba Regional Council, which supplies Oakey residents with town water, has advised that its water supply is not contaminated. Testing of local water from taps in early 2015 did not identify the presence of PFAS.
As a precautionary measure, properties near the base were advised not to use bore water for drinking. Defence continues to provide alternative water to 35 properties that are not connected to town water.
Defence is finalising a human health risk assessment and ecological risk assessment for the Oakey environmental investigations. Once finalised, Defence will consult with the community at the earliest opportunity once both reports are finalised.
In Williamtown, the Hunter Water Corporation has confirmed that the town water is not contaminated. Defence is providing $3.5 million in funding to the Hunter Water Corporation to support the connection of Williamtown area properties to town water and is providing alternative drinking water to 71 properties that are not connected to town water.