Details of fishing industry contamination compensation expected

HELP is on the way for the Port Stephens’ fishing industry.

The Newcastle Herald understands the Department of Defence and Defence Minister Marise Payne’s office is expected to make an announcement on Wednesday.

A Department of Defence spokesman would not comment on the issue when contacted by the Herald on Tuesday night. 

Paterson MP Bob Baldwin and Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon will be briefed on the federal government’s financial support package on Wednesday.

Mr Baldwin will be briefed on Wednesday morning, while Ms Claydon will be briefed in the afternoon.

Families who rely on fishing for an income face eight months without a pay cheque because of chemical contamination from Williamtown RAAF base that has leaked into groundwater and surface water. 

Mr Baldwin told Salt Ash residents last week that the package was being created.

He said on Tuesday that he was happy progress was being made and he hoped the package was ‘‘fair and equitable’’.

Ms Claydon said the industry had ‘‘waited far too long’’ for compensation.

‘‘I look forward to finding out the details of the package,’’ she said.