More than 400 residents north of Newcastle have launched a class action against the Defence Department over the contamination of their local groundwater.

Residents say their livelihoods and property values have been severely affected since news broke that toxic chemicals once used in firefighting foam at the Williamtown RAAF base had leached into ground and surface water. “It’s had a devastating affect on the community,” Lindsay Clout, who lives 5km from the base…