The Minister for Defence needs to apologise to Katherine residents and explain why the meetings on PFAS contamination were cancelled last week and when the meetings will be rescheduled.
More than 50 households in Katherine rely on bottled water supplied by the Department of Defence after PFAS contamination was detected in local water sources.
Anxious Katherine residents were expecting an update on the PFAS contamination situation at the community meeting on 23 March and were given the cold shoulder, with no indication of a date for a rescheduled meeting.
The PFAS community meetings scheduled earlier in the same week for affected areas of Darwin went ahead.
It is unclear why the community meetings in Katherine, an area where higher levels of PFAS contamination have been detected, were cancelled.
While the Turnbull Government adopted most of Labor’s policy response to PFAS contamination, community consultation continues to be its weakest link.
Labor’s policy called for dedicated community liaison officers to improve communication and provide one clear point of contact. Why hasn’t the Turnbull Government created these positions?
The Turnbull Government has learned nothing after keeping the communities in Williamtown and Oakey in the dark for so long. The lack of consultation and communication created anxiety and uncertainty in those communities.
It looks like more of the same for Katherine.