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Lavarack Barracks PFAS 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. Our investigation seeks to determine whether the contamination was a result of the Department of Defence using firefighting foam containing per- and poly- fluoroalkyls (PFAS).

About the Lavarack Barracks PFAS Contamination Class Action Investigation

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’.

The Lavarack Barracks PFAS Contamination Class Action is intended to be for members of the community who own, or who have owned property in or around the investigation area. Shine Lawyers are investigating whether the PFAS contamination from the Lavarack Barracks has negatively impacted properties, land values and the livelihoods of the community.

The investigation for Lavarack Barracks follows the successful class actions for Oakey and Katherine by Shine Lawyers against the Department of Defence, for the contamination of soil and groundwater which led to the decline of property values.

The ADF completed a detailed site investigation at RAAF Lavarack Barracks in December 2019, with results detecting PFAS in soil, surface water, groundwater and sediment around the base. The base’s Former Fire Station, Former Fire Training Area and Former Helicopter Landing Area were identified as some of the potential main sources of PFAS contamination.

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 Lavarack Barracks PFAS Contamination Class Action Investigation does not include personal injury claims for exposure to the PFAS contamination. The adverse health effects of exposure to PFAS chemicals, and the viability of a class action will continue to be investigated. Class actions such as this have been run in other countries around the world for both defence force personnel and communities.

How to register for the Lavarack Barracks PFAS Contamination Class Action Investigation

If your property is located in the Lavarack Barracks contamination investigation area, and was owned by you in 2017, you are encouraged to register for this class action investigation so that you may seek the compensation you are entitled to.

Click the button below to register

Sign up Class Action Investigation

The eligibility criteria for the Class Action may change, depending on legal advice as matters progress. If there are any changes, we will contact you.

If you have any questions or require any assistance in registering for the class action, please contact our Lavarack Barracks PFAS Contamination Class Action Investigation team on 1800 066 173.

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

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyls (PFAS) are a class of harmful chemicals commonly found in products that reduce heat, stains, grease and water. They are common in many household products, such as carpets and non-stick cookware. PFAS are concerning because they do not naturally degrade. They are ingested by humans and animals, and accumulate in the body. A small amount of daily exposure can lead to high concentrations over time.

PFAS soil and groundwater contamination can lead to high levels of the chemical in drinking water, agricultural land, animals and residents.

The full effect on human health is not known.

This is a proposed class action against the Commonwealth of Australia, specifically the Department of Defence. It will be alleged that the Department of Defence negligently allowed contaminants within the fire-fighting foam, to escape from the Base, subsequently impacting the value of surrounding properties.


Currently, if the claim is unsuccessful Shine Lawyers and a litigation funder, if engaged, will become liable to pay any adverse costs on behalf of all claimants.

It costs nothing to join the class action.

As the action is still being investigated the calculation of legal fees in this matter is still progressing. It is expected if we launch a class action, that legal fees will be paid in part, and disbursements in full, by a litigation funder.

The final legal costs will depend on the amount of work, and time, required to resolve the claim.

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