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Council to meet with State Government over water contamination

Publish Date 22/10/2015

Port Stephens Mayor Bruce MacKenzie and General Manager Wayne Wallis will today meet with NSW Minister for Lands and Water, The Hon. Niall Blair, MLC, to discuss the ongoing impacts of water contamination on residents living around RAAF Base Williamtown.

The meeting, facilitated by Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast Scot MacDonald, MLC, will urge the NSW Government to work with the Department of Defence to address areas of pressing need for residents of Williamtown, Fullerton Cove and Salt Ash.

Primary among these is a proposal to connect approximately 260 residences inside or adjacent to the contamination area to the town water supply, thereby reducing reliance on bore water.

The meeting will also address concerns residents have raised with Council, particularly regarding the human health and safety impacts of contaminated water on people, pets livestock, and vegetables.

"Residents inside and around the contamination zone have told us loud and clear of their concerns about the potential health implications of exposure to contaminated water for themselves, their families, pets, livestock and gardens," Mayor MacKenzie said ahead of today's meeting.

"We are thankful to Parliamentary Secretary MacDonald and to Minister Blair for the audience and we hope this will be the next step in providing these residents with some certainty when it comes to their water supply.

"While ultimate resolution of the problem sits with the Department of Defence, we hope that the Minister will be able to make representations to Canberra to secure some relief in the short to medium term.

"We also appreciate Hunter Water's help and input to date. However, we are very aware that funding this work will be no small matter, one which is beyond the means of Hunter Water and Council at this time."