Push for airport report
FEDERAL Greens Senator Rachel Siewart has written to chief executive of Airservices Australia Jason Harfield demanding an exact date for its report into levels of toxic chemical contamination at Perth Airport.
Quoting from a report by the Federal Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination at Williamtown in NSW, Ms Siewart reminded Mr Harfield of the stress suffered by the local community from a lack of communication.
She urged the department to learn from previous experiences and provide “a succinct and concise strategy in response to the contamination results that offers the best possible outcome for affected communities and the environment”.
“On behalf of my constituents who live in areas surrounding Perth Airport, I would like to ask for an exact The knowledge that soil and water samples from Perth Airport showed signs of contamination by toxic chemicals first became public in November last year.
Airservices Australia found evidence of contamination by perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), ingredients in firefighting foam used at the airport until 2010.
The chemicals have been found at Department of Defence sites and commercial airports across the nation.
Poor handling of contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown in NSW triggered a Senate inquiry into the incident.
Farm land around the base was devalued as it was considered no longer viable and people were instructed to drink bottled water and stay away from produce, including fish, in the area.
Australian health authorities have no clear concensus on the consequences of high level exposure to PFOS and PFOA, however they have noted adverse affects occurring in animals. date that we can expect the report on contamination levels to be published,” she wrote.
A spokeswoman for Airservices Australia said it had received a letter from Ms Siewert but was unable to provide an exact date on the finalisation of the report due to the potential impact of circumstances beyond its control, such as laboratory availability.
“As we have communicated previously, on completion of the works the outcomes of the investigation will be shared with relevant stakeholders and Commonwealth and State regulators to determine next steps, including any potential broader community engagement,” she said.
Airservices Australia previously reported its findings would not be out until March or April.