INVESTIGATION: Fed Govt sitting on PFAS findings
SIX months after experts met to discuss the potential health risks of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances - the same chemical that was found to have infiltrated a Bundaberg water supply - the Federal Government has yet to release its findings.
An expert health panel met in November and invited submissions from the public, affected communities and other stakeholders to hear about the potential health risks and to prioritise areas for further search.
The report was to be handed to Health Minister Greg Hunt by the end of February before being made public.
Now, weeks later, the report is still under wraps.
The NewsMail asked Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt if he was advocating to have the report released in the wake of the Svensson Heights water scare last month.
Mr Pitt said it was up to local and state governments to ensure the water was safe for residents to drink.
"The Bundaberg Regional Council and Queensland State Government have responsibility for ensuring water quality and I have been closely following the progress of the PFAS investigation in Svensson Heights," Mr Pitt said.
The report is now more than 60 days late.
"I have been in contact with Health Minister Greg Hunt's office and they've advised the expert health panel for per- and poly fluroalkyl substances' advice is currently being finalised and following consideration by the government, the panel's report will be made available to the public," Mr Pitt said.
It is still unknown when the report will be released.
Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson has called for the government to "come clean on PFAS advice".
Ms Swanson's electorate includes the towns of Williamtown, Salt Ash and Fullerton Cove, where PFAS has been detected.
"Once again the Turnbull Government and its ministers are displaying complete arrogance and a lack of respect for the people of Australia," Ms Swanson said.
Ms Swanson said she understood the panel's advice had been provided to Minister Hunt but he had chosen to sit on the findings.
"My constituents in Williamtown, Salt Ash and Fullerton Cove have already waited almost three years for the government to take action on this matter. It is cruel and negligent to make these people wait one day longer to hear how their government intends to fix its mess," Ms Swanson said.
"I can only hope the Turnbull Government has decided to come good and will release the expert panel's findings in conjunction with a support package during the upcoming Federal Budget."