Defence is undertaking a national program to review, investigate and implement a comprehensive approach to manage the impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on, and in the vicinity of, some of its bases around Australia.
From 2004, Defence commenced phasing out its use of legacy firefighting foam containing specific types of PFAS - perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) - as active ingredients. The legacy fire-fighting foam was used extensively worldwide, and within Australia, from about the 1970s by both civilian and military authorities due to its effectiveness in extinguishing liquid fuel fires. Defence now uses a more environmentally safe product. Furthermore, Defence has made changes to the way it uses firefighting foam to ensure that the risk of releasing the products into the environment is minimised.
Defence is taking a proactive approach to this matter and is working with Commonwealth, state and local authorities in the conduct of its investigations.
Defence is being open and transparent in making the verified test results available to the local community; and is sharing this information with relevant state/territory and local authorities, to assist with planning.
Defence continues to work towards the effective monitoring and management of PFAS contamination on and in the vicinity of affected sites across Australia.
Detailed environmental investigations are undertaken by experienced environmental services providers and are conducted in accordance with the Australian National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (NEPM). This is the national guidance framework for the assessment of site contamination in Australia.
Support information, Frequently Asked Questions and other relevant information can be located on each of the specific Investigation sites listed below.