The Department of Defence has unveiled its own map of Williamtown’s contamination ‘red zone’, which appears to contradict a new map released by the NSW environmental watchdog just a fortnight ago.
Residents were astonished as the map was presented to the media in Williamtown on Tuesday, to coincide with the release of two final reports into the contamination crisis, including an updated Human Health Risk Assessment.
During a press conference, a technical expert argued that both Defence and the NSW Environment Protection Authority were on the same page, despite their differing maps.
“There’s consistent advice and findings,” said Amanda Lee, a technical director for Defence contractor AECOM.
However stark differences are evident in the maps, with different borders, colour-coding, numbers of segments and sets of precautionary guidelines for residents.
Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington slammed the release of the new map as “madness”.
“It’s like the maps are a visual representation of the dysfunction between the state and the Feds,” she said.
Defence’s map divides the contaminated area into four colour-coded “risk zones”, with separate sets of precautionary guidelines for each zone.
The NSW EPA map has three “management areas” and two sets of precautionary guidelines for residents.
Representative of the Williamtown and Surrounds Residents Action Group Rhianna Gorfine described the situation as like being in an episode of satirical television comedy ‘Utopia’.
Defence representatives are due to front a community meeting at 5.30pm.
UPDATE 7.30PM – Footage from the community meeting