SOIL AND WATER
CONTAMINATION — WEST BULLSBROOK
1051. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Environment:
This question is directed to the
Minister for Environment after being redirected from the Minister for Water. I refer
to the per-fluoroalkyl chemical—PFAS—contamination in west
Bullsbrook that has been detected in bores, soils and eggs.
(1) Does the
minister concede that there is scientifically proven PFAS contamination in west
Bullsbrook leaching from the RAAF Base Pearce?
(2) Does the
minister concede recent investigations by the Department of Defence found six
private bores on properties near the base also contained chemicals above the
accepted level for drinking water?
(3) Will the
minister advise what the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will
do about fighting this pollution?
(4) Will the
minister fast-track residents currently not attached to mains scheme water in
west Bullsbrook onto scheme water?
(5) If no to (4), why not?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I inform members that this is
answered by me as the Minister for Environment.
the legal situation is complex, state environmental laws have limited
application to commonwealth land. In accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement
on a National Framework for Responding to PFAS Contamination, the commonwealth
is responsible for identifying and managing PFAS contamination on and from
commonwealth sites and on sites where commonwealth government activities have
resulted in PFAS contamination. The Department of Defence is carrying out
investigations and risk assessments for PFAS contamination at and near RAAF
Base Pearce, including groundwater testing in west Bullsbrook.
Defence has informed the Department
of Water and Environmental Regulation that, by July 2018, it had tested more
than 150 groundwater samples off-base, and groundwater samples collected from
six residential bores detected PFAS above drinking water guidance values.
Alternative water is being provided to these properties. As part of developing
its PFAS management area plan for Pearce, Defence has advised it will examine
long-term options for the supply of water to these properties, in consultation
with residents and relevant state agencies.