Latest updates

Important information for communities around HMAS Cairns.

2020 – 2023 Ongoing Monitoring Report – May 2024 (PDF, 28.22 MB)

2020 – 2023 Ongoing Monitoring Report factsheet – May 2024 (PDF, 1.13 MB)

Investigations and findings

In August 2020, Defence completed investigations into per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination on and around HMAS Cairns and the former World War II (WWII) Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Fuel Installation.

The investigations found risks to people, plants and animals resulting from PFAS exposure associated with HMAS Cairns were low. More detail on Defence’s risk assessments can be found in the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment factsheet.

Remediation and management

Defence’s management plan for HMAS Cairns and the former WWII RAN Fuel Installation was informed by the outcomes of the investigations and reflects the low risk identified.

The management plan recommended that monitoring of PFAS should continue. Treating or removing PFAS from the area was not recommended.

Ongoing monitoring

Monitoring of PFAS continues through sampling of surface water, groundwater and sediment. Monitoring helps Defence understand if PFAS contamination is changing over time.

Results are published in an Ongoing Monitoring Interpretive Report and factsheet. Defence will inform the community if changes to the management approach are required.

Recent reports and factsheets

Detailed reports from the PFAS investigation and management program are available to download. To discuss these reports contact

Document archive

The HMAS Cairns document archive contains information about the management of PFAS.

This includes:

  • older community presentations,
  • investigation reports,
  • risk assessments and
  • factsheets.

Some archive information has been superseded by the recent reports and factsheets.

Documents Archive - Cairns (PDF, 209.29 KB)

Last review: 6 May 2024