Government must act on PFAS at Bulimba Barracks

21 October 2019

Today's reports of the presence of PFAS at the Bulimba Barracks should be a wake-up call for the Morrison government to finally act to address contamination at the site.

Around 200 Bulimba locals have signed my online petition calling on the government to rectify the contaminants on the site, and now Erin Brockovich has joined the calls, speaking out about the presence of PFAS.

In early September this year the Morrison Government confirmed it had taken no action to remediate contamination identified at Bulimba Barracks more than a year before, by a letter from Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price.

She confirmed the government had sat on its hands since receiving information in August 2018 about contamination at the Barracks, through its Stage 2 Detailed Environmental Investigation, despite my calls for the government to take action.
The Stage 2 report, of which only a summary has been made public, found that “Localised areas of soil contamination, including test results for metals and hydrocarbons, did not meet the human health guidelines for residential land-use; and sediment contamination that did not meet guidelines for ecological protection was also identified in stormwater drains.”
Today's revelations about the presence of PFAS are striking and deeply concerning.

It is outrageous to suggest that the federal government can abrogate its responsibility to ensure a proper and thorough clean-up of a site contaminated over generations.
The government can’t expect to profit from sale of defence assets without securing the safety of our local community first. In addition, it is deeply concerning that the government has not dealt with contaminated sediment sitting in stormwater drains on its land.
I’m calling on the federal government to clean up their act, put community safety and the environment first, and finish the job before the sale of this land to a developer in 6 months’ time.