Defence told ‘Buy me out’ after results

THE daughter of a former Williamtown RAAF base commander whose property has water contaminant levels 100 times higher than an accepted health risk limit has told the Department of Defence to “Buy me out.”

Kim-Leanne King came out fighting on Friday after Air Vice-Marshal Greg Evans described her situation as “not comfortable”. He told journalists Defence had not contacted Mrs King because “She hasn’t contacted us”, despite nearly one month passing since the shock results left her sobbing.

“That’s not true. That’s absolutely not true,” Mrs King said.

“I phoned them as soon as this whole thing became public. I spoke to a woman about the situation I was in. I gave my name and my mum’s name and our contact details, and as soon as I told her we’d stopped using bore water for growing vegetables and the animals a few years ago, that was the end of it,” Mrs King said.

“They haven’t contacted me since then, but how dare they hide behind some kind of excuse that they’re protecting my privacy? They’ve destroyed my property. I want them to buy me out, and the sooner the better.

“If they came and made me an offer, I would go. I’ve shed so many tears over this.”

Stranded water on Mrs King’s property returned a perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) level of 38.2 micrograms per litre, or more than 100 times higher than the accepted health risk limit.

PFOS was found in fire fighting foams used extensively at Defence sites including Williamtown Base for 50 years. A 2007 Defence report found the use of the foams had “grown to some extent unsystematically, without any environmental considerations”.

Mrs King’sproperty, and her mother Ruth Facer’s neighbouring property, are close to a known contaminant exit point from the Base at the man-made Lake Cochran.

The “lake” was designed to take stormwater run-off, including from a part of the Base that recorded the highest readings of PFOS in May 2012, at more than 1000 times the accepted health risk limit of 0.3 micrograms per litre.

On September 3, the NSW government suspended fishing and oyster harvesting, created a contamination zone around the Base eventually affecting 650 properties, and issued warnings about water and food because of elevated PFOS readings outside the Williamtown Base.

Mrs King, 48, has lived on herproperty for 41 years, her husband Colin for 30.

For the past few years they have battled Defence and Port Stephens Council over run-off that has reached thigh height during extreme weather events.

“We have surface water from the base across our property for nine months of the year,” Mrs King said.

At a media briefing on Friday Defence did not rule out buying back some properties after Air Vice-Marshal Evans said he was “pessimistic” about remediation options, particularly over large areas.

Defence also confirmed the maintenance of drainage channels found to have contained PFOS in run-off from the base was Port Stephens Council’s responsibility.

Posted in: 老域名