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19/9311 June 1993

MARINE OIL SPILL RESPONSE PLAN UPGRADED

The Australian Transport Advisory Council has moved to strengthen national marine pollution response arrangements.

ATAC decided in a meeting in Sydney today to formally adopt the recommendations of a review of Australia's capability to respond to a marine pollution threat.

The review was conducted by a group of government and industry representatives headed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The major recommendations included:

• Acquisition of an additional $5.6 million of equipment;

• An improved training program;

• Improved arrangements for the rapid response of personnel and equipment;

• Clearer command and control procedures for managing the response to an incident;

• Closer integration of existing government and industry response arrangements;

ATAC has decided to establish a National Plan Advisory Committee to implement the recommendations.

The Minister for Transport and Communications, Senator Bob Collins, said the arrangements complimented the Federal Government's existing measures to combat marine oil pollution.

Media contact: Brian Johnstone (06) 2777200

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