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Monday, 16 September 2019
Page: 2981

Ms SWANSON (Paterson) (13:56): On Monday of last week the Senate put forward a motion calling on this Morrison government to respond to an inquiry that was conducted by the Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS, Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on PFAS contamination in Williamtown, Oakey and Katherine. It demanded that the government respond to the recommendations in the inquiry by midday of the following day. Well, the NewcastleHerald summed it up beautifully in its article of the following day; Donna Page said: 'toxic snub'.

Indeed it was a toxic snub from this toxic government. Why do they continue to turn their backs on the people of Williamtown? We talk about natural disasters. We talk about the fire and floods that are happening in this country. The Prime Minister has made much of it in the last few days. Well, I say to you that the PFAS contamination at Williamtown in my electorate, which has now been going on for four years, is a disaster. And this government's handling of it is even more disastrous—with the possible exception of the chair of the committee, Mr Andrew Laming, who stood up and was brave and said that my people should be compensated. Well, he's been dealt with; he's been shuffled off; so, sadly, he's not there to advocate. But I still am, and I will continue to fight the fight for the people of Williamtown. Get to mediation and get this resolved.