The Williamtown PFAS contamination’s latest mess is the playtime for students at Salt Ash Public School.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington has today met with parents of the school and heard their concerns about the ongoing impact of Defence’s inaction since the contamination was revealed.
Following the public becoming aware of the contamination, Defence was pushed to connect affected properties to town water, including Salt Ash Public School.
While Defence is currently paying the water bills for residential properties and local businesses, they have refused to pay the water bill for Salt Ash Public School which previously received free water from its bore water connection.
After getting a $6,000 bill, the school has had to significantly scale back its water usage, resulting in the school playing field turning to dust.
Instead of the small school’s budget going towards the students’ education, it’s had to go toward paying for a water bill.
Kate Washington MP has written to the Department of Defence urging them to add the school’s water bill to the residential water bills they are already paying.
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“I continue to be appalled by the heartless decisions being made by those with the reins of Defence in Canberra.
“We are about to see billion dollar fighter jets arriving at Williamtown, but Defence has refused to pay a school’s water bill - school children have been left to play in the dust.
“Defence needs to do the right thing and start taking some responsibility for the impact of the contamination on our community.
“It’s indecent that Defence is paying the water bills for residents and businesses in the area, but not paying the school’s bill, and that this is directly impacting on children in the area.
“The children at this school live in the contamination zone, they go to school in the contamination zone – the least the Department of Defence could do, is pay this small bill.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Monday 3 December 2018.