New spill equipment not going to CQ

MORE than $13million will be spent on new equipment to clean up off-shore oil spills for nine major ports around the country, Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Friday.

But despite three of the past seven marine oil spills occurring near Gladstone and Hay Point, the new equipment will not be stationed at any of Central Queensland's growing ports.

Instead, Mr Albanese said the equipment would be stationed at several strategic locations around the country; in Sydney, Melbourne, Devonport, Adelaide, Perth, Dampier, Darwin, Townsville and Brisbane.

"In the last decade, we have seen more ships on our waters thanks to increased mining and industrial activity," he said.

"With increased activity comes increased risks and we need to address the risks associated with these changing shipping patterns, particularly in north-Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef."

While the equipment would not be stationed at the growing Central Queensland ports, such as Hay Point, Mackay, Abbott Point or Gladstone; the other locations should provide an equidistant solution to covering any spills in southern and northern Queensland waters.

The rollout will include 18 dispersant spray systems, 31 skimmers (oil recovery systems) and 13km of boom (oil containment systems), as well as six new oil sweep systems for use in different sea conditions.


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