Scot MacDonald MLC
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter
2 OCTOBER 2015
WILLIAMTOWN COMMUNITY REFERENCE GROUP MEETS
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Williamtown Contamination Investigation Community Reference Group (CRG), held at Newcastle Airport on Thursday evening.
Discussion focussed on setting the platform for effective communication flow between the Expert Panel, the CRG, the Department of Defence, relevant NSW Government agencies and the community.
Mr MacDonald said “The CRG emphasised the need for clear and ready access to information for the community on the coordinated response from the Department of Defence and NSW agencies.”
“Importantly, it was agreed that community members would be the key representatives of their community for conveying progress of the CRG’s work and for bringing the concerns of the community to the attention of government.”
The CRG heard updates from the EPA and Department of Defence on the latest water sampling and activities and outlined enhanced communication channels for community information and participation.
The CRG also heard from the Williamtown and Surround Action group President Cain Gorfine on the productive community meeting that was held with concerned community members this week, which will contribute important community feedback into the CRG process.
The CRG will hear in future meetings from the Chief Scientist, who will be key to providing information links between CRG, the Expert Panel and Government.
The Minister for the Environment, Mark Speakman, said he is pleased the CRG has started to meet.
“The NSW Government supports an issue management process for Williamtown contamination that is guided by expert insight and community feedback. The CRG will be a useful conduit in the latter regard.”
A webpage has been established as a centralised information portal on CRG activities, including meeting summaries, links to frequently asked questions and other key information for the assistance of the community. It can be found at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/mediainformation/community-reference-williamtown.htm
The next meeting will be held in Williamtown on Thursday 8 October 2015.The Elected Representatives Reference Group (ERRG) will also meet on 8 October 2015.
Media: Scot MacDonald MLC, 0408 450 032