The Riverina MP says “we should not get ahead of ourselves” over the PFAS contamination.
Michael McCormack on Thursday responded to a state government decision not to ban use of the toxic chemicals across NSW.
He said the legacy PFAS contamination was a significant concern, with the government actively examining options for banning or severely restricting its use.
But he conceded there would be no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
It comes after the state’s Environmental Minister said it would not follow Queensland or South Australia in prohibiting the group of chemicals containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as it was a federal government call.
With the US Environmental Protection Agency claiming the chemicals could “cause immune dysfunction, hormonal interference and certain types of cancer”, one Wagga councillor this week labelled the state-s stance a “cop-out”.
Concerns relating to Forest Hill’s PFAS contamination escalated when the substances were in June found to have seeped from RAAF Base Wagga across a number of years, impacting the Gumly Gumly wetlands, crippling one local business and threatening the city’s water table.
But Mr McCormack said Defence had assured him no one had been drinking from the contaminated ground water.
In a statement, the Deputy Prime Minister said he would closely monitor the investigation into the health and ecological risks of PFAS, but said a decision would only be made once that concluded.
Concerned residents were encouraged to contact the minister’s office.