SOIL AND WATER
CONTAMINATION — WEST BULLSBROOK
1096. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the Minister for Environment:
I refer to question without notice
1072 asked by Hon Charles Smith on Thursday, 1 November, regarding the per-fluoroalkyl
chemical—PFAS—contamination in west Bullsbrook.
(1) When will the
discussion between the WA government and the Department of Defence be
finalised, and will the outcomes be made public?
(2) How many properties in
Bullsbrook are impacted by the contamination?
(3) Is the contamination able to be
(4) If yes to (3), who will bear the
cost of the clean-up?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
As previously indicated in response to question without notice 1051,
answered by me as Minister for Environment, and question without notice 1072,
answered by Hon Alannah MacTiernan representing the Minister for Water, the
legal situation is complex. State agencies do not have control over the
investigation, remediation and mitigation practices of commonwealth agencies.
In accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Framework for
Responding to PFAS Contamination, the Department
of Defence is responsible for investigation and management of PFAS
contamination at and near RAAF Base Pearce, and Defence is leading
discussions regarding the options for provision of sustainable long-term
drinking water supplies to affected properties. The time frame and
communication of discussion outcomes are a matter for Defence. I understand
that Defence's next community information kiosk for its Pearce
investigations is scheduled for Thursday, 15 November 2018, in west Bullsbrook.
(2) As I indicated
in my answer to question without notice 1051 on 31 October 2018, by July 2018
the Department of Defence's investigations had detected PFAS levels
above drinking water guidance values in groundwater samples from six
guidance on PFAS treatment and remediation is provided in the ''PFAS
National Environmental Management Plan''. Using the Pearce environmental
investigation findings, the Department of Defence has advised it is developing
a PFAS management area plan. The aim of the plan is to provide options to
manage and reduce the risks of PFAS exposure near the base and to outline
(4) As I indicated
in my answer to question without notice 1051 on 31 October 2018, 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.