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Canberra Matters | The people of Williamtown need our help

Picture: Marina Neil
Picture: Marina Neil

If you've travelled to the Bay since 2015, you've probably seen the signs that line Cabbage Tree Road.

"The federal government has ruined our lives" one reads. "We are the families you poisoned" says another.

Others include "Defence credibility gone. PFAS SHAME!", "PFAS enriched family here" and "Contaminated by Defence".

It's confronting and heartbreaking, and it's barely a glimpse of what the people who live in those homes have been through.

In 2015, residents in Williamtown, Salt Ash and Fullerton Cove learned their land, homes, produce and in some cases even their bodies, were polluted with PFAS chemicals that had run off nearby RAAF Base Williamtown.

Horrifyingly, this information didn't come from the polluter, the Department of Defence. It came on the front page of the paper.

Since then, PFAS-effected residents have fought a steep, up-hill battle with the Liberal Government.

And I have stood by them every step of the way as the member elected to represent our community.

The people who live in the "Red Zone" people didn't do anything wrong.

They bought a house in a rural area looking for somewhere to settle. They raised their families there and in some cases started businesses.

Now they are fighting to get out.

PFAS-effected residents have launched a class action against the federal government after their calls for help went unanswered, but it should never have come to this.

The person who decides what happened next has not been to Williamtown, which has left us all wondering: Where is the Prime Minister?

How is it that he can fight them in court, but not face them in their homes?

It's time for Scott Morrison to come to Williamtown to face this community. It's time he faces the people his government has abandoned.

I've started a petition calling on the Prime Minister to come to Williamtown to meet residents who live on land that has been contaminated by the Australian Government.The people of Williamtown need our help

Every voice matters in this fight, and I am asking for you to use yours.

Please add your name to this petition at merylswanson.com.au/pfas-petition, or call the office on 4983 2401.

Meryl Swanson is the Federal MP for Paterson

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