Katherine currently does not have a Community Liaison Officer on the ground for a study assessing the impacts of PFAS exposure, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.
The University of Queensland is currently conducting a study into the effectiveness of PFAS exposure control in three parts of Australia, including Katherine, by measuring the levels of PFAS in the blood of residents who have been exposed.
In a hearing of the Parliamentary PFAS Inquiry today, one of the study's investigators, Professor Jochen Mueller, said there had been an issue with the person they employed to be Katherine's Community Liaison Officer (CLO).
Following questioning from NT Senator Malarndirri Mcarthy, Professor Mueller said the CLO resigned around a month ago, leaving Katherine with the position vacant.
"We're having a problem with our CLO in Katherine [for] about four weeks," Professor Mueller said.
"In Katherine, only one person I believe has applied for this position, but that may have not been such a wise choice."
The Inquiry heard there had been a misunderstanding around what the role entailed and how many hours of work it would involve.
Project Officer Shelby Marrington told the Inquiry the absence of a CLO hadn't impacted the study in Katherine, which has 118 study participants.
"Having that person there at this point in time has not hampered [the study] at all," Ms Marrington said.
The position of Katherine's CLO is set to be filled before the next stage of the study, the Inquiry heard.
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