Greens urge blood tests for Defence, residents

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Todd Williams, The Greens candidate for Solomon has called for blood testing of Defence personnel who may have been exposed to potentially cancer-causing contaminants at RAAF Base Darwin.

This follows revelations about legacy perfluorinated contaminants at Williamtown RAAF base in NSW, and a committment by the Labor party to offer blood testing to concerned residents near contaminated sites in NSW.

Mr Williams says the dedication of local community members caring for Rapid Creek connected the dots, exposing a similar PFOS legacy in the middle of Darwin.

"The poisoning of Rapid Creek is a disgrace. When you think of all the families who have enjoyed tubing down Freshwater, it’s sickening to think that they may have been exposed to such chemicals."

“Local residents, and servicemen and women who've worked at Darwin Airport, deserve and should have access to the same level of care," said Mr Williams.

“While these chemicals are being phased out by the RAAF, this government's opaque approach to the permanent co-location of a growing number of US Air Force assets and personnel in the middle of Darwin only make it harder for local residents to know just what is going on around our Creek."

"The airport is Federal property. If we are to avoid any future similar pollution scandal, the Federal and NT governments need to cooperate in giving the public a clearer picture of what is going on."