Final report into PFAS remediation in and around Defence bases

Issue date: Thursday, 31 March 2022

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The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) presented its final report into Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) remediation in and around Defence bases today.

Chair of the PFAS Sub-Committee, Senator Dr Sam McMahon said, ‘This inquiry has sought to provide an opportunity for the public and PFAS-affected communities to document what has been done by Government to manage and remediate PFAS. It has also enabled Committee members to raise issues affecting residents of these communities, and to improve government accountability.’

‘Since December 2019, we have monitored progress of the Department of Defence’s National PFAS Investigation and Management Program. This report is the third and final report issued by the Committee,’ said Senator McMahon.

‘The Committee acknowledges that there are ongoing issues remediating PFAS in affected communities, and issues with the engagement and support of these communities. This report has documented means by which the Australian Government can improve these efforts into the future’, said Senator McMahon.

The Committee has made eight recommendations to the Australian Government, relating to the:

  • implementation of previous recommendations made by the JSCFADT;
  • quality of engagement and communication with communities affected by PFAS contamination;
  • coordination with state and territory governments;
  • examining potential options for people with high levels of PFAS to make therapeutic blood or plasma donations to reduce their levels of PFAS; and
  • continuation of longitudinal studies on potential adverse health effects for PFAS affected communities.

Further information about the inquiry, including the report, submissions, transcripts, and responses to questions on notice, can be found on the Committee’s website.

Media enquiries

Senator Dr Sam McMahon
Chair of the PFAS Sub-committee
02 6277 3643

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 2313

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