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MOTION: PFAS Voluntary Buybacks

Both Liberal and Labor parties have in the past, voted against buybacks of property in the PFAS (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) Contamination Red Zone, at Williamtown (NSW).

Through no fault of their own, these people have had their properties severely devalued because of chemical contamination from the RAAF base, with many people having to leave their homes altogether because of the impact to their health.

I am moving a motion in the Senate today, to have the Government come to the table on a voluntary buyback scheme and let’s hope that this time, PFAS victims will have some justice.

MOTION

Mr President,
I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I will move that the Senate:

a. Notes:
(i) That since September 2015 there have been a number of parliamentary inquiries into the PFAS contamination of Defence owned and neighbouring properties
(ii) The upcoming Christmas will be the 4th Christmas that the residents living in so called Red Zone surrounding Williamtown RAAF base in NSW will have had to endure with no resolution from the federal government

b. Calls on the Government to:
(i) Immediately implement a voluntary buyout programme for effected property owners of PFAS contamination originating from Defence owned land.
(ii) Ensure the voluntary buyout programme is at market rates for the effected properties prior the public announcement of the contamination plus the average increase in property values in the region since.
(iii) Provide monetary compensation for those that wish to remain living at their property
(iv) Ban the use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals [PFAS], which have contaminated at least 90 communities across the country as a result of their use in fire retardants for decades.

Senator Brian Burston