The NT Government is not pressing the Federal Government to compensate for Katherine residents for PFAS contamination.
In the NT’s submission to the Senate inquiry holding its first public hearing in Katherine today, compensation was not discussed.
Instead the submission, particularly the Health Department, speaks glowingly of the level of co-operation between the Defence Department and the NT Government.
The submission, signed off by Chief Minister Michael Gunner yesterday, was provided to Katherine Times on our request last night.
The NT EPA does say more resources need to be directed to “understanding and addressing any financial impact to affected businesses and individuals”.
In its submission to the inquiry, the NSW Government has highlighted the need for compensation to affected residents.
Many Katherine residents have signed up to a planned class action against Defence on lost property values.
A Katherine couple is scheduled to address the hearing today, saying property prices have fallen by about a third because of PFAS fears.
In the NT submission, Power and Water has put a price on the water treatment plant needed for Katherine to provide safe drinking water now and into the future.
The cost of the plant has been reckoned at between $11-$13 million.
As reported by the Katherine Times this week, Defence has signed off for two new plants for Tindal to begin the work of cleaning PFAS from contaminated PFAS hot spots on the base.
The plants will extract contaminated water from bores, strip the PFAS from the water, and reinject the cleaned water back into the groundwater.
Power and Water says the NT Government has not budgeted for the cost of the Katherine plant.
“There is no current funding available for the delivery of the project,” the submission reads.
The hearing will be held at Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts and Culture Centre from 10.30am to 4.30pm today.