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Tuesday, 3 March 1970

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry) - I have some knowledge of a maritime accident today, but it is insufficient for me to be able to make a statement to the House at this stage. However, I will be doing so at the first opportunity. I am able to say that a vessel called the 'Oceanic Grandeur' was involved in a collision with a submerged object about 2 miles east of a place called Ince Point on Wednesday Island in Torres Strait early this morning. As a result of this collision the forepeak of this 58,000 ton Liberian registered vessel was damaged. There has been some oil spillage, and at present there is an oil slick some 6 miles long and about li miles wide spreading north westward from the place where the vessel is now anchored, about 6 miles off Ince Point. At this moment the 'Leslie J. Thompson', another Ampol owned tanker, is in the region. The oil is being pumped from the Oceanic Grandeur* into the 'Leslie J. Thompson' and it is hoped that the process of transferring the oil from one ship to the other will be completed in the quickest possible time. In the meantime the Queensland Department of Harbours and Marine and my own Department are co-operating to ensure that adequate detergents are flown to the area by the Royal Australian Air Force. As soon as it is possible for me to make a full and detailed report to the House on the progress of this oil slick and the measures being taken to contain it I shall do so.

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