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Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action

Shine Lawyers has initiated a class action for the Wreck Bay community for the chemical contamination of soil and groundwater in and around Jervis Bay Territory. The class action alleges that the contamination was a result of the Department of Defence using firefighting foam containing per- and poly- fluoroalkyls substances (PFAS) at HMAS Creswell and the Jervis Bay Range Facility.

About the Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action

From the 1970s to at least 2004, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) regularly conducted firefighting drills using a type of firefighting foam known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam. This foam consists of toxic chemicals known as ‘PFAS’.

This class action is for members of the Wreck Bay community who own, or have owned property in Wreck Bay on or before 1 September 2016. The claim is to compensate eligible persons for the PFAS contamination in Jervis Bay which has negatively impacted properties, land values, livelihoods and the cultural practices of the Wreck Bay community.

The ADF commenced a detailed site investigation at HMAS Creswell and Jervis Bay Range Facility in March 2017, with the results detecting PFAS in surface water, groundwater and sediment around the base. The report found widespread PFAS contamination in groundwater both on and off-base, exceeding health-based recommendations for drinking water.

location map

Investigation Area

As part of their investigation, the Department of Defence has released a map identifying the investigation area. Download the map

Important Notice

The Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action does not include personal injury claims for exposure to the PFAS contamination.

Can I join the Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action?

You are encouraged to register for this class action if you meet the following conditions:

  • A registered member of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC)
  • A spouse or descendant of a former or current member of the WBACC.
  • You must have been part of one of the above categories on 1 September 2016.

If you answered yes to the above, you may be entitled to compensation, and you are encouraged to register for the Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action.

How to register for the Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action

Click the button below to register

Register for the Class Action

The eligibility criteria for the Class Action may change, depending on legal advice as matters progress. Once your registration has been received, we will review your details, and contact you to confirm eligibility.

If you have any questions or require any assistance in registering for the class action, please contact our Jervis Bay PFAS Contamination Class Action team on 1800 325 172.

Who is Shine Lawyers’ Class Action Team?

Shine Lawyers’ Class Action Team includes some of the firm’s most experienced solicitors and support staff. The team includes:

Common Questions

PFAS are a class of harmful chemicals commonly found in products that reduce heat, stains, grease and water, and was contained in the firefighting foam used by the Department of Defence for around 40 years from the 1970’s.

PFAS soil and groundwater contamination can lead to high levels of the chemical in drinking water, plants, animals and people.

PFAS are concerning because they do not break down naturally. They can be ingested by humans and animals, and accumulate in the body. A small amount of daily exposure can lead to high concentrations over time.

The full effect on human health is not known, however many global experts link PFAS to various diseases

This is a class action against the Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Defence) (Commonwealth).

It is alleged that the Commonwealth negligently allowed contaminants within the fire-fighting foam to escape from the Bases, and as a consequence, it has impacted the value of the surrounding land, and affected cultural practices.

It costs nothing to join the class action.

Shine Lawyers are acting on a No Win No Fees basis. This means the legal fees and disbursements will only be recovered if the class actions is successful.

If the class action is successful and a judgment of damages is awarded to the people of Wreck Bay, the costs and fees paid by Shine Lawyers, to bring the proceedings to a successful outcome, will be deducted from the amount of damages received from the Commonwealth. The final legal costs will depend on the amount of work, and time, required to resolve the class action, and will be reviewed by the Court.

If the class action is successful, the amount of compensation will likely vary between group members as it may depend on individual circumstances.

If compensation is received, it will be up to the Court to determine, and approve, the most appropriate method to distribute the compensation.

The distribution of the compensation is not up to any particular group member, the lead applicants or the solicitors.

Shine Lawyers are running one class action on behalf of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community (the people), and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (the entity, managed by the board).

Shine Lawyers intend to file the class action against the Commonwealth in early 2021.

The class action is claiming for three types of loss caused by the PFAS contamination:

  1. loss in property value;

  2. inconvenience, distress and vexation; and

  3. cultural loss.

The Jervis Bay Class Action does not include personal injury claims for exposure to PFAS.