Confusion, frustration over Oakey water contamination

Confusion, frustration over Oakey water contamination.
OAKEY residents embroiled in a pending class action law suit against the Department of Defence are confused and disillusioned.
As lawyers leading the civil action against the Federal Government department urged clients to boycott a new dietary habits survey, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand dramatically lowered the safe exposure levels of toxic firefighting foams known as PFAS.
Shine Lawyers principal Peter Shannon, leading the law suit, said it was a validation of residents’ concerns about the water contamination, but two information sessions with the Oakey community and Department of Defence representatives have left more lingering questions.
Residents are now calling for further independent tests to be completed, and for the government body to follow the United States in its recent acknowledgement of health impacts posed by PFAS chemicals.
The information sessions told residents they should minimise their exposure to water in a larger part of the Darling Downs town, and reiterated the advice to not eat the fruit, meat, poultry or vegetables produced in the identified contamination zone.
It follows the Department of Defence urging residents to voluntarily complete a survey which will update the Human Health Risk Assessment report and identify "potential new sample locations" in the investigation area.
"The questions in the survey seek to understand how people in the investigation area would typically use their land to grow produce and livestock, together with how much of this produce, and how often they would typically consume it," a spokesman told The Chronicle.
"Defence is not aware of Shine Lawyers formally commencing legal proceedings against the Commonwealth at this time, and it is unable to advise whether the refined HHRA may be relevant to matters raised in any proceedings."
Oakey resident Dianne Priddle said she was left "confused" and "frustrated" after the information session in the town held on Wednesday afternoon.

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