PFAS contamination parliamentary inquiry calls for submissions

Andrew Laming MP
Andrew Laming MP

A FEDERAL parliamentary inquiry will examine the government’s management of PFAS contamination in and around Department of Defence bases. 

The PFAS Sub-Committee of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will conduct the inquiry after adopting a referral from the Senate, it announced on Wednesday.  

The sub-committee’s chairman, Bowman MP Andrew Laming, said it would examine the progress of the federal government’s response to and management of the contamination, building on previous inquiries into the issue. 

Those inquiries include a Parliamentary examination that reported in May 2016.

Mr Laming said it would also take into account the existence of the whole-of-government PFAS taskforce and the report by the Expert Health Panel for PFAS.

“The Committee shares the concerns of affected communities about the impact of PFAS contamination in and around Defence bases,” Mr Laming said.

“We recognise this is a complex issue requiring responses from Commonwealth, state and territory and local governments. 

“This inquiry will examine how the Commonwealth is managing and coordinating these responses to ensure the best outcomes for those communities affected by PFAS contamination.”

The terms of reference propose covering the extent of contamination, the “response of, or co-ordination between” agencies of the Commonwealth government and co-ordination with state governments, local councils and community groups. 

It also extends to cover remediation works, what consideration has been given to financial impact on affected businesses and individuals and the adequately of existing legislation. 

Anyone with an interest is urged to make submissions before July 6 this year.