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Tuesday, 23 November 1971
Page: 3532

Mr Bennett asked the Minister for the Navy, upon notice:

(1)   What pollution control measures are taken by ships of the Royal Australian Navy:

(a)   at sea and

(b)   in port.

(2)   What disposal methods are used with:

(a)   packages and wrappings from stores,

(b)   waste stores and

(c)   effluent.

Dr Mackay - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(1)   The pollution control measures taken by RAN ships are as follows:

(a)   At sea ,

HMA ships are required to observe the principles of the Commonwealth Pollution of the Sea by Oil Regulations although not legally bound by these regulations.

(b)   In port

(1)   in ports HMA ships abide by the local port regulations. For remote anchorages, small ports, etc., where there are no port regulations, special naval instructions to prevent pollution are in force.

(2)   The question of using only biodegradable detergents in HMA ships is the subject of a current investigation with which Defence Standard Laboratories have been requested to assist.

(3)   Plans are being developed to convert oil burning ships to diesel distillate, which will reduce funnel smoke particularly when ships are lighting boilers from cold.

(2)   The following disposal methods are used in the RAN:

(a)   Explosives and warlike stores are rendered non-buoyant and dumped in depths in excess of 500 fathoms.

(b)   (1) Beyond harbour limits normal shipping practice is followed and garbage and general waste are disposed of over the side. Floating material, e.g., cans, are pierced so that they are rendered nonbuoyant. Care is taken that this only lakes place when well clear of beaches.

(2)   In port garbage and general waste are off-loaded into appropriately provided containers and cleared by private contractors.

(c)   Effluent is disposed Of, by those vessels which are equipped with holding tanks, when at sea. The remainder of ships follow normal merchant ship practice and pump over the side in port or at sea. New construction ships will be fitted with sewage disposal systems.

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