Bulletin No: 23 4 December 2018
TO ALL UFUA MEMBERS
UFUA CALLS ON GOVERNMENTS TO URGENTLY ADOPT PFAS RECOMMENDATIONS
The UFUA is calling on State, Territory and Federal Governments to urgently adopt the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into PFAS released today.
The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade conducted the inquiry into PFAS contamination and management in and around Defence Bases where toxic foam has been used for firefighting purposes for decades. The UFUA made submissions to this inquiry noting the extreme risks of PFAS exposure to firefighters and calling on urgent action.
These recommendations are a vindication of the UFUAs consistent activism in seeking bringing the issue of PFAS to the public’s attention and lobbying of Governments for action. With this vindication the UFUA now seeks that remedial action be implemented immediately to avoid putting lives and health at any further risk.
Key recommendations include:
- That the Australian Government review its existing advice in relation to the human health effects of PFAS exposure, including to acknowledge the potential links to certain medical conditions;
- That the Australian Government appoint a Coordinator-General to coordinate the national response to the PFAS contamination issue, supported by an appropriately resourced office;
- That the Australian Government legislate a national ban on the use of, and contain, and ultimately safely destroy, long chain PFAS-based firefighting foams (including those containing PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS);
- That assistance is provided for property owners and businesses in affected areas for demonstrated, quantifiable financial losses associated with PFAS contamination that has emanated from Defence bases.
- That the voluntary blood testing program for PFAS be improved and extended.
To view the full recommendations please follow the below link:
The UFUA will be writing to all Federal MPs and Senators today calling for urgent action in implementing the recommendation. State Branches are encouraged to also write to their State Members of Parliament to likewise seek bi-artisan support for urgent action.
Also provided is a template letter which can be sent to Fire Service senior management again calling for urgent action
The UFUA recognises the work of many in their continued pursuit to expose this matter including the National OH&S Coordinator Neil Mangelsdorf, Victorian Branch Vice President Mick Tisbury and ACT Branch Secretary Greg McConville.
Authorised by National Secretary Peter Marshall