O’Brien calls on Government to speed up PFAS testing
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to urgently undertake more testing on ducks at the Heart Morass near Sale for the presence of PFAS chemicals.
The Environment Protection Authority recommended recently that ducks, eels and fish from the Heart Morass not be consumed due to PFAS contamination emanating from the East Sale RAAF base.
Raising the matter in State Parliament last week, Mr O'Brien said the government needed to act quickly to reduce uncertainty.
“Defence and EPA say that more testing needs to be done, however the final report will not be released until the first quarter of 2018,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This is of great concern to Field and Game Australia, and particularly the Sale branch, with respect to the use of the Heart Morass, which is owned by Field and Game Australia and managed as a conservation reserve that is entirely funded by hunters.”
Mr O’Brien said Field and Game sells keys to access the Heart Morass for duck season which is its main source of revenue for the year.
“Without that revenue it would be very difficult for them to maintain the conservation project that they undertake at the Heart Morass,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The uncertainty over use needs to be addressed as soon as possible with the preparation for duck season well and truly upon us.
“The government should also be conducting tests outside Heart Morass as ducks obviously move around," Mr O’Brien said.
“It is senseless of the government to be saying that you should not eat ducks from the Heart Morass when they may have just flown in from Dowds Morass or any number of places nearby and that issue needs to be addressed.
“The members themselves are also happy to be tested to address the issues of concern with respect to humans. We understand the need for caution, but we also recognise that there is no consistent empirical evidence of human health concerns with PFAS chemicals.
“The minister must get the EPA to act urgently to do this additional testing.”