In the early 2000s, workers at the Williamtown RAAF Base say their use of what we now know to be toxic firefighting foam was “excessive” and “indiscriminate”. Donna Page spoke to several former RAAF workers and contractors, who said the toxic concoction was used “for just about anything”.
The Defence Department denied the claims, saying the foam was used to protect human life and assets. It came the same week a parliamentary inquiry recommended compensation for red zone residents but, again, the government has failed to respond and the people of Williamtown are preparing for another Christmas in limbo.
There were tears from the victims of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher this week as former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson became a free man, after winning an appeal against his conviction for concealing child sexual abuse.
In Saturday’s Herald, Helen Gregory revealed the much-loved Wickham artwork of the Indigenous boy would soon disappear to allow the construction of an apartment building. But artist Matt Adnate reassured fans the iconic portrait would be replicated on the new building.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
There was a sense of nostalgia inside the Newcastle Herald’s offices as the week ended, because so too did Fairfax Media, but in name only. On Monday, we come to work under the Nine banner.
Cake was had, songs were sung (we've had a couple of birthdays this week too), and we all had a chance to reflect on what this merger means for us, and you, our audience.
It has been a moment worthy of pause to leave the Fairfax brand behind. It has been a badge we have been proud to wear, but we will wear the new one with just as much pride.
It was never about the name, anyway.
It is about sharing your stories, our stories, the stories that matter to our community. The Herald has always been, and will continue to be the Voice of the Hunter.