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Lavarack Barracks Contamination Class Action Investigation

Shine Lawyers is investigating a class action for the chemical contamination of soil and groundwater in and around Lavarack Barracks, a major Australian Army base located in Townsville, Queensland. The investigation is to determine whether the contamination was a result of firefighting foam that contained per- and poly- fluoroalkyls (PFAS) used by the Department of Defence.


From the 1970s to at least 2004, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) frequently conducted firefighting drills using the firefighting foam known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Lavarack Barracks was known to use this foam during training.

The ADF commenced a detailed site investigation at Lavarack Barracks in October 2017, with the results expected to be published in the second quarter of 2019. In the meantime, the Department of Defence has released interim precautionary advice for the consumption of fish from lakes in the Townsville suburb of Idalia. These were based on recommendations from the Queensland Department of Health following samples collected during the environmental investigation.

The potential class action is for members of the community who own, or who have owned residential or commercial property in or around the investigation area. Shine Lawyers are investigating whether the decline in property values around the Lavarack Barracks was caused by the PFAS contamination.

The Lavarack Barracks investigation follows the launch of similar class actions for Oakey and Katherine against the Department of Defence.

Please note that the Lavarack Barracks investigation does not include claims for personal injury as a result of exposure to PFAS.

Am I eligible to participate in the Class Action?

The Department of Defence is looking into the long-term environmental impact of contaminated soil and groundwater in and around the Lavarack Barracks. Part of this analysis included publication of a map identifying the investigation area. A copy of this map can be viewed here.

To be eligible to be a part of the potential Class Action, your property must be located in or around the investigation area and owned by you in 2017.

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The criteria for eligibility may change as the investigation progresses, however we will keep you informed.

Who is Shine Lawyers’ Class Action team?

Our Class Action team comprises of some of the firm’s most experienced Special Counsel, Solicitors and support staff, including Law Clerks and Paralegals. The Lavarack Barracks investigation team includes:


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