NSW Maritime will conduct an oil spill response exercise at Lord Howe Island on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 September 2011.
NSW Maritime Deputy Chief Executive Tony Middleton said the exercise is aimed at enhancing the ability of the island’s residents to respond to any oil spills and will involve deployment of local spill response equipment.
'Testing the local communications and operational condition of the local oil spill response equipment will allow for the local contingency plan arrangements to be updated if needed and to identify any equipment-related issues or requirements,' Mr Middleton said.
About 20 island residents are expected take part in the hands-on training exercise. The exercise will be overseen by NSW Maritime's Manager Shipping and Pollution Response in conjunction with the Lord Howe Island Board personnel and personnel from the local supply vessel, the Island Trader. Trading ships travelling between Queensland and the Pacific Islands often pass the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, and a small general cargo vessel visits the island on a regular basis.
NSW Maritime has Combat agency responsibility for marine oil spills from Fingal Head at Port Stephens to the Queensland border and this area also includes Lord Howe Island. Exercises form part of NSW’s responsibilities to have in place a response capability to respond to marine oil and chemical spills under the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances (National Plan) arrangements. NSW Maritime manages the National Plan arrangements in NSW. NSW Maritime and the three Port Corporations are the combat agencies.
For more details on oil spill responsibilities go to http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/