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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 569


Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 1 3 May 1 980:

(   1 ) Have discussions taken place between him, his Department and the responsible State Authorities concerning (a) the prevention of and (b) action to be taken in cases of incidents involving ships passing within (i) restricted and (ii) prohibited zones surrounding industry mobile units on offshore fixed structures in Australian waters; if so (A) will he provide the details and (B) what action resulted from these discussions.

(2)   Has other action been taken by him or responsible State authorities with respect to incidents in part ( 1 ); if so, what are the details.


Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Discussions have taken place and are continuing between various Commonwealth and Victorian Departments on actions which might be taken to improve further the safety of the off-shore platforms.

As a result of those discussions, the restricted area has been increased in size and improved surveillance arrangements have been instituted.

(2)   Observance of the 500 metre safety zone around fixed installations is mandatory. Two successful prosecutions of infringements of a Bass Strait safety zone have taken place.

Safety zones are not declared around off-shore industry mobile units.

The observance of the restricted area is advisory. As the result of improved surveillance, it is now possible to intercept most of the intruding vessels and advise them to avoid the restricted area and to interview their masters on their arrival in port.







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