The Department of Defence has commenced a detailed environmental investigation into per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances at, and in proximity to, Singleton Military Area.
The investigation aims to identify the nature and extent of PFAS in the local environment from the use of legacy firefighting foam at the base. It will involve a review of existing reports and information as well as interviews with defence personnel.
The federal member for Hunter and former Defence Minister in the Rudd government, Joel Fitzgibbon, welcomed the investigation.
“Until we have a full understanding of the potential costs involved we can’t have a proper conversation about what an appropriate response is,” he said.
Mr Fitzgibbon, who served as defence minister between 2007 and 2009, said the issue of PFAS contamination was not brought to his attention while minister.
“A lot of information passed over my desk, but I’m quite sure that (PFAS contamination) never came on my radar,” he said.
A community information session will be held at the Quest Hotel in Singleton on Friday on Friday July 27 between 11.30am to 2.30pm. People who live in the area surrounding the base have also been invited to participate in a water use survey regarding their use of groundwater, tank water and surface water.