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Thursday, 3 October 1974
Page: 1643

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. In view of the big movement of crude oil around the Australian coastline and the consequent continuing danger of oil pollution in our offshore areas, what steps have been taken by the Government to have sufficient supplies of dispersant readily available for the treatment of any such oil spills?

Senator CAVANAGH - The honourable senator notified me some time last week that he sought information on this matter and would ask me a question on it. I referred it to the Minister for Transport and received the following reply: The Australian Government, in co-operation with the States and the oil industry, has established a national plan to combat pollution of the sea by oil. The plan consists of stockpiles of dispersant and equipment located at Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Fremantle and Darwin. A further stockpile is to be established at Port Hedland. The stockpiles are available for use by Australian and State government officials who bear responsibility for the abatement of oil pollution. In the event of a massive oil spill entire stockpiles may be transported interstate. A quantity of basic feedstock from which an additional 2,000 tonnes of dispersant can be speedily manufactured is held in reserve at Botany Bay, New South Wales. The plan also includes a separate stockpile in Melbourne of ship to ship transfer equipment for use in lightening tankers which may become involved in a collision or stranded.

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