Update on PFAS around Townsville Port - July 2018

11 July 2018

In April 2018, results from preliminary testing of groundwater detected elevated levels of Per-and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) around the Port of Townsville.  This testing was undertaken as part of a voluntary monitoring program by Port of Townsville Limited (POTL).

Following the detection results in April, POTL commenced a preliminary investigation with the assistance of GHD and Queensland Government Departments to understand the nature and extent of PFAS both within the port and beyond the port boundary. 

During the investigation, residents of South Townsville that live within close proximity to the port were contacted to provide information about water usage from bores.  All requests for bore testing have been completed, and POTL will continue to facilitate any requests from residents for further testing.

The investigation is progressing well and results will be released to the public by the end of July, a few weeks later than initially anticipated. 

The extra time has been allowed to ensure all residential bores that are available to be tested can be, and the results communicated to the property occupants.

A further update will be issued by the end of July 2018.


PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used since the 1950s in household and industrial products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.

The Port area is fully reclaimed land and its origins are in locations where there have been a range of industrial uses over 150 years.  Historical activities in the areas of most elevated readings included a coal fired power station, old naval bunker lines, railway operations and former fuel storage facilities. 

Further information on PFAS in Queensland is available on the Queensland Government website here: