The Greens have committed to implementing all nine recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry into PFAS contamination in and around defence bases.
The party's candidate for the federal seat of Newcastle, John Mackenzie, announced the Greens' PFAS strategy on Sunday. It includes appointing a coordinator-general to formulate a national response and a compensation and buy-back scheme.
Labor and the Coalition have been under fire for failing to respond to the Senate inquiry recommendations four months ago that the federal government compensate residents whose property values have plummeted due to high PFAS levels.
"The situation for residents in the Williamtown red zone is simply untenable. They cannot afford to leave, because their properties are unsellable," Dr Mackenzie said. "They cannot afford to stay, because the health risk to their families is too much to bear. It is past time for the Australian government and the Department of Defence to put this right."
A class action by residents at Williamtown and the Queensland town of Oakey against Defence is set for the Federal Court in August.
Dr Mackenzie also touched on reports the government has settled a legal claim by a retired military doctor who lives next to the Oakey Army Aviation Base.
"It is deeply disturbing to learn that the federal government has been secretly settling legal claims and entering into handshake agreements with residents of Oakey and Katherine while insisting that the terms of those settlements remain confidential," he said.
"Why has the Williamtown red zone been excluded?
"The first recommendation of the parliamentary inquiry was to place responsibility at arm's length of government to make sure that we had effective, transparent and consistent responses to PFAS contamination at sites across the country.
"I urge all candidates for Newcastle and Paterson in the federal election to commit to the recommendations of the inquiry."
Residents and former firefighters are also calling for a royal commission into the government's handling of contamination from toxic firefighting chemicals used on Defence bases and at fire stations throughout Australia.
Labor promised before the NSW election to spend $10 million in state money and $10 million from the Commonwealth to remediate contaminated drains running through properties around Williamtown RAAF base, but the party did not come close to winning the vote.