Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

16    Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee—References

Senator McEwen, at the request of Senators Conroy and Rhiannon and pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1—That the following matters, in relation to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination, be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report:

    (a)   by 4 February 2016 on PFOS and PFOA contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown and Australian Defence Force facilities, with reference to:

                  (i)   what contamination has occurred to the water, soil and any other natural or human made structures in RAAF Base Williamtown and the surrounding environs,

                 (ii)   the response of, and coordination between, the Commonwealth Government, including the Department of Defence and RAAF Base Williamtown management, and New South Wales authorities to PFOS/PFOA contamination, including when base employees, local residents and businesses, the Port Stephens and Newcastle City councils, and the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were informed of the contamination,

                (iii)   the adequacy of consultation and coordination between the Commonwealth Government, the New South Wales Government, the Port Stephens and Newcastle City councils, the Department of Defence and Australian Defence Force, affected local communities and businesses, and other interested stakeholders,

                (iv)   whether appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of Australian military and civilian personnel at RAAF Base Williamtown,

                 (v)   the adequacy of health advice and testing of defence and civilian personnel and members of the public exposed, or potentially exposed, to PFOS/PFOA in and around RAAF Base Williamtown,

                (vi)   the adequacy of Commonwealth and state and territory government environmental and human health standards and legislation, with specific reference to PFOS/PFOA contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown,

               (vii)   what progress has been made on remediation works at RAAF Base Williamtown, and the adequacy of measures to control further contamination,

              (viii)   what consideration has been undertaken of financial impacts and assistance to affected business and individuals, and

                (ix)   any other related matters; and

    (b)   by 30 April 2016 on PFOS and PFOA contamination on other Commonwealth, state and territory sites in Australia where firefighting foams containing PFOS and PFOA were used, with reference to:

                  (i)   what Commonwealth, state and territory facilities have been identified as having PFOS/PFOA contamination, and what facilities may potentially still be identified as being contaminated,

                 (ii)   the response of, and coordination between, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, local governments, commercial entities and affected local communities,

                (iii)   what measures have been taken by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of people in close proximity to known affected sites,

                (iv)   the adequacy of public disclosure of information about PFOS/PFOA contamination,

                 (v)   what consideration has been undertaken of financial impacts on affected businesses and individuals,

                (vi)   the adequacy of Commonwealth and state and territory government environmental and human health standards and legislation, with specific reference to PFOS/PFOA contamination,

               (vii)   what progress has been made on the remediation and the adequacy of measures to control further PFOS/PFOA contamination at affected Commonwealth, state and territory sites,

              (viii)   what investigation and assessment of contaminated sites and surrounding areas has occurred, and

                (ix)   any other related matters.

Question put and passed.