The Federal Minister for Health’s refusal to roll out a voluntary blood testing program in Katherine underscores the Turnbull Government’s ad hoc approach to managing PFAS contamination.
The Minister’s decision comes almost six months after the Northern Territory’s Health Minister requested a voluntary blood testing program be rolled out in the Katherine community.
Aside from advice that the community will need to wait for a further 12 months before blood testing could be made available, the Minister provided no additional advice regarding his Department’s work program to assist in the whole-of-government response to PFAS contamination.
The Minister needs to be up front with the Katherine community.
Why did it take so long for the Minister to respond to the NT Minister’s request?
Why does the Katherine community have to wait so long for blood tests to help establish a baseline population sample to monitor the extent of contamination?
Why are voluntary blood tests good enough for Williamtown and Oakey, but not for Katherine?
Territorians are sick of being treated as out of sight and out of mind by the Turnbull government. They deserve transparency and answers to their concerns. Above all, they deserve to be treated the same as those affected by PFAS in other states.