Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia
Sunday 23rd August 2009
Greens call for environmental repair fund in wake of WA oil spill
The Australian Greens today called for more information to be made available about the oil spill off the coast of Western Australia, and for the company responsible to set up an environmental fund to monitor and repair any environmental impacts the spill may have caused.
“The company needs to be more forthcoming with information,” Australian Greens marine spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“We have limited information on what is currently occurring out there, what actually happened out there, how did it happen, or when they expect to get it under control.”
“This area has been dubbed a ‘marine superhighway’. There are populations of baby turtles this time of year, and the area also serves as a migratory route for whales and other marine life. It’s also close to Ashmore Reef, so we need to be certain the spill is contained before any further damage is done.”
“We are deeply concerned that it has taken so long for clean-up operations to begin and we don’t know what the long-term impacts are going to be. We believe a fund needs to be set up by the company to fund ongoing monitoring and any further repair needed in the future.”
“Before any further development is undertaken closer to the Kimberley coast, we need to ensure that emergency response teams are situated closer than Victoria or the WA wheatbelt, as this instance has shown that the increased response time could potentially result in further environmental damage,” said Senator Siewert.
“I am also concerned by comments from Resources Minister Martin Ferguson over this spill where he is playing down the potential environmental impacts – we do not yet know if the environment is at risk. He is clearly demonstrating that resources come before the environment.”
The Greens are calling on PTTEP Australasia to set up a fund to monitor damage and repair the environment.
“We also need better processes than this, to ensure quick response times and adequate safeguards to protect the environment,” she concluded.
For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180
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