Labor lashes Govt on PFAS failure

Defence has dispensed with community forums in favour of one-on-one sessions in the shopping centre.
Defence has dispensed with community forums in favour of one-on-one sessions in the shopping centre.

Three Labor MPs have lashed the Federal Government for its lack of communication over PFAS contamination issues with Katherine residents.

Gai Brodtmann (Opposition spokeswoman on defence) Lingiari MP Warren Snowdon and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy have released a joint statement saying the high level of uncertainty and sensitivity to PFAS issues in the Katherine community and its local council clearly shows the Government’s failure to communicate with the community.

“Labor has repeatedly called on the Government to coordinate the response to PFAS contamination and clearly, concisely and consistently engage and communicate with the Katherine community through one point of contact,” the statement said.

“But unfortunately our calls have been ignored, time and again.

“In the absence of any coordinated approach, the NT Government has had to step in and create its own interdepartmental committee to address issues raised by Katherine residents.

“And while Defence advise there is a dedicated community liaison officer in Katherine – following Labor’s policy – the officer’s availability is limited and contact details are not on the Defence website.

“With the local pool closed, will the water treatment plant’s installation be sped up?

“Who is responsible for communicating the details of what is happening with the water treatment plant?

“Who is the lead agency on PFAS issues in Katherine – Is it Defence? The NT Government? The Katherine Town Council?

“When will the Government get its act together and start managing the issue in a nationally consistent and coordinated way?”

Shop Four, most recently occupied for the NT council pre-poll voting and opposite BWS, will be open in Katherine this week for PFAS updates from Tuesday until Thursday from 10.30am- 6pm.

Defence needs to step up – Sandra Nelson.