22 December 2015
Federal Labor is calling on the Abbott/Turnbull Government to address the concerns of residents and businesses affected by the contamination of soil and water from legacy fire-fighting foams at RAAF Base Williamtown after today's public hearing in Newcastle.
As a priority, the Minister for Defence and the Assistant Minister for Defence should increase their engagement with the Williamtown community and meet with them regularly to hear their concerns firsthand.
Labor is again calling on the Abbott/Turnbull Government to provide financial assistance to all affected businesses and families, and to extend the timeframe for financial assistance to commercial fishers beyond 30 June 2016.
Today’s inquiry heard compelling evidence that more needs to be done by the Abbott/Turnbull Government to support the community of Williamtown and surrounds.
The inquiry heard from a range of individuals and organisations including residents, local fishers, contamination experts and government officials.
Residents and business owners made it clear that ongoing uncertainty is placing them under enormous personal and professional stress and consistently pointed to a lack of communication and timely information being provided to the community.
The inquiry is due to report to the Parliament in February.
Labor thanks the witnesses who have given evidence, in particular residents and business owners who continue to endure personal and financial hardship through no fault of their own.