Lawyers representing communities affect PFAS contamination have announced they reach an agreement with the Department Of Defence.
Class Actions Practice Leader Joshua Aylward said the positive result, reached overnight during formal negotiations between the parties, would come as a relief to affected residents.
“The people of Oakey and Katherine have been living in limbo for more than five years,” Mr Aylward said.
“We’re pleased to have achieved this outcome for these communities, which will help property owners to move forward with their lives,” he said.
“This settlement will go some way to financially compensate them for the extensive property value losses they’ve experienced and for the stress which they have been under.”
Erin Brockovich has visited multiple Australian towns affected by PFAS contamination and has been a champion for the rights of residents.
“This victory belongs to the people of Katherine, Oakey, and Williamtown who had the courage to rise up and fight for their communities,” Ms Brockovich said in a statement.
“I know better than most how gruelling and time-consuming class actions can be so I want to congratulate residents for never giving up hope,” she said.
“I’m sure there were times you felt nobody was listening but this settlement is both an acknowledgement of your struggle and a chance to turn the page on this difficult chapter in your lives.”
Shine Lawyers will now seek approval from Justice Lee on the terms of the settlement. The firm will then determine the method through which the settlement will be distributed.
Residents have been lock-in a battle with defense for the past 5 years to get compensation for PFAS contamination which is not only harmful to their health but has also devalued their homes.