Defending who? RAAF Williamtown 24 deadly cancers and counting


Who is the Defence Department Defending? 

RAAF Williamtown – 24 39 with deadly cancers and still counting!!

New cases as cancer cluster fears mount – Newcastleherald Digital Editions, 7_15_2017

One cannot just sit back and ignore the facts: 24 39 people with cancers and some have died near the RAAF Williamtown base; toxic firefighting foam linked to cancer; a continual denial of responsibility by the Defence Department as well as denials by several Ministers for Defence over many years; EPA reports show the spread of these toxic chemicals into the ground water and waterways around the base; land values plummeted with the news of the toxic pollution; blood test at first denied to local concerned residents; several former employees of the base diagnosed with cancer – THIS OUGHT TO BE MORE THAN ENOUGH!! Defence Department who are you defending? – 24 39 local residents with deadly cancers and still counting!!

How many must die before decisive action by government?


How many need to die before decisive action by government??????

Williamtown cancer cell.

A very brief history: Back in 2003 it was very clear that this toxic foam was escaping the containment area on the Williamtown RAAF Base but cover-up and denial was the way forward instead of what the community should have expected – an honest assessment of the problem and early intervention and containment of the pollutants. Residents concerns were dismissed though eventually fish (prawns and oysters in particular) from the near by Hunter were banned from human consumption. Financial assistance given to the fishing industry but not to any other business in the area. Questions about the health of animals in the area impacted many businesses in the area, then questions of the health of food products grown in the area were raised. Local residents desired blood tests and the local testing laboratories were “encouraged” not to do the tests – these tests were very expensive to residents who chose to circumvent the Department of Health and have the test done. Approaches to the Defence Department were made almost impossible in an atmosphere of virtual denial of any “real” problem. Governments did nothing at either a State or a Federal level while political parties in opposition made promises nothing happened – perhaps it is too big a problem to handle. Reluctantly a class action was launched in an attempt to get some justice. Will there ever be real justice? well not for all the 24 39 who have the deadly cancers and for those who walked away making huge losses on the land that they paid huge prices for and to obtain virtually nothing for as they leave the are for their physical and mental health. A note here: some real-estate agents attempted to get people to sell their contaminated land without disclosing the contaminates – which would be in breach of the law. As far as we know no one stooped to such levels as they valued the lives of their fellow Australians greater than the actions of the Defence Department and the various State and Federal governments, and their Ministers, have during this whole affair. It is time for a fair go for all people caught up in this – No! way past time so act now!!!

(Below is a copy of some of the cutting above)

RAAF base since the 1970’s.

The polly-and the per-fluoroalkyl chemicals, also known as PFAS, have been linked with cancers in overseas studies. However a NSW Health spokesperson said there was “no conclusive evidence” they caused any specific illnesses.

“The Federal Department of Health has commissioned an epidemiological study to consider the potential health effects resulting from PFAS exposure in this area,” she said. It’s understood the final report will be handed down in 2020.

Bruce Armstrong, a professor of public health at the University of Sydney, did not think it was necessary that a second study be conducted to address the cancer cluster on Cabbage Tree Road.


“Really the question is what’s being done in the planned investigation to be able to pick up the evidence you’ve uncovered, of what appears to be quite a large number of people developing cancer,” he said, adding it might be important to include the people who had lived in the area historically but have moved away.

Williamtown cancer cell. 7

(below is a copy of the cutting above)

A DRAIN at the centre of cancer cluster fears on Cabbage Tree Road in Williamtown has shown up staggering levels of firefighting contamination, after exclusive testing was carried out for the Newcastle Herald.

The independant testing in Dawson’s drain returned some of the highest readings recorded in Williamtown’s red zone. They were up to 34 times higher than the levels authorities reported in the drain last year.

The Herald approached Sandgate-based company Australian Laboratory Services to do the testing, but it refused on the grounds of “contractual restraints”.

The samples were instead analysed by Eurofins and taken by Dr Steven Lucas from the University of Newcastle’s school of environmental sciences.

They showed the chemical perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) at 92, perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) at 44 and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at 4.2 micrograms per litre respectively.

The results were than 1900 times the safe limit for PFOS and PFHxS in drinking water of .07 micrograms per litre, and about 194 times the safe limit for recreational water(.7).

On the western side of the drain lived Lorelei Sneddon, who passed away from non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma in 2011

Williamtown cancer cell. 10

Williamtown cancer cell. 14

Is it the plan of government to allow things to remain in a holding pattern until 2020 and hope that most of the people have died, or is there some legal limitation that may allow less than full compensation or even plans to that effect to be put in place??
This is nowhere near good enough for the people of Australia!!

I and the Christian Democratic Party are committed to an urgent and full compensation to all harmed by this appalling process, as well as much as we are able to clean and rehabilitate all of the affected land and waterways in Williamtown and as well as at every other RAAF base where contamination has occurred. The cost will be great as the damage is horrendous but the remedy must match the full extent of the damage done!


We call upon both the NSW and the Federal government to most urgently act to resolve this matter at the earliest possible moment and to assure the citizens of Australia that the Defence Department will defend all Australian citizens even from the unintentional and intentional acts that may cause harm to any Australian citizen as well a in a most timely manner to restore any damage or injury caused to Australians or their assets wherever possible!