Toxic chemicals from airbase still affect WA homes

RAAF Base Pearce. Picture: Royal Australian Air Force
RAAF Base Pearce. Picture: Royal Australian Air Force

RESIDENTS of a semi-rural area near Perth where bores have been contaminated with toxic chemicals from firefighting foam have been told just over two dozen properties still require bottled water.

Many people in West Bullsbrook have been forced to use the Department of Defence-supplied water for the past three years after it was discovered PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) had leached from the RAAF Pearce air base.

At a community meeting on Wednesday, the department said the contamination wasn’t as widespread as initially thought, so the residents of all but 26 properties could now revert to drinking from their bores.

But there are calls for the provision of scheme water and compensation for dramatically lower property values, which could be through class action.

City of Swan deputy mayor Kevin Bailey supports the scheme water push, backed by Member for Pearce Christian Porter and WA water minister Dave Kelly.

“We think that’s the ultimate solution,” Mr Bailey told AAP.

“It would finalise the process and there would be no need for ongoing monitoring.”

How many levels of government paid for it would be the contentious issue, he said.