The Australian Greens note and give our support to the original drafting of Recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 6, and paragraph 1.23 which were contained in the PFAS Subcommittee’s draft report presented to the JSCFADT Committee on 15 March 2022. The amended recommendations in the final report weaken the original position the PFAS Subcommittee agreed on.
The original recommendations, reproduced below, better reflect the PFAS Subcommittee’s position on the need to implement all of its Recommendations, not just the ones agreed or agreed in principle by the government. These recommendations provide stronger support for communities impacted by PFAS contamination and call for improving engagement with affected communities.
1.24 The Committee recommends the Australian Government expedite the implementation of all recommendations made by this Committee in its reports to date.
2.49 The Committee recommends the Australian Government improve its engagement, communication and support for the communities affected by PFAS contamination.
2.50 The Committee recommends the Australian Government work with the NSW Government to re-establish the community reference group process.
7.19 The Committee recommends that the Australian Government accommodate state and territory environment protection authorities wishing to undertake investigations relating to PFAS contamination on or coming off Commonwealth-owned or regulated land.
1.23 The Committee is disappointed about the delay in the receipt of the Australian Government response to its second progress report. This report was tabled in August 2020, with a response expected to be tabled in the Senate within 3 months of this date. The Australian Government response was received in January 2022. Further, the Committee is concerned that the Australian Government has not committed to meaningful and timely action on the recommendations made by the Committee.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi
Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales