NSW Continues to Assist in New Zealand Oil Spill Response

14 October 2011

NSW Maritime Deputy Chief Executive Tony Middleton said NSW continues to assist in the oil spill clean up and recovery effort of the container ship Rena which ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty last week.

Mr Middleton said that NSW Maritime is co-ordinating the NSW response and liaising with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which is coordinating the national response effort.

“A number of staff from NSW Maritime and the Sydney Ports Corporation remain in New Zealand assisting in the response, along with environmental personnel from other NSW agencies,” Mr Middleton said.

“These personnel have specialist experience in oil spill response and clean-up operations.”

“NSW Maritime continues to meet the requests of the New Zealand authorities and we remain on standby to assist if further calls for additional resources are received to aid our trans-Tasman neighbours,” Mr Middleton said.

Bad weather has continued to affect the vessel, causing container stacks to topple and be lost overboard. However, weather conditions are expected to ease over the coming weekend.

In the following weeks it is likely that additional personnel from NSW Maritime and other agencies will attend the response effort on a rotational basis. The request from New Zealand authorities for specialist personnel and equipment assistance is consistent with the bilateral arrangements between Australia and New Zealand.

NSW Maritime manages marine oil spill response capability in NSW waters under State and National Plans to combat marine pollution.

Port emergency response plans and equipment deployments are exercised regularly to ensure an appropriate level of preparedness and response is maintained.

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