The clean-up operation on Fraser Island will continue today with around 35 shoreline personnel working to remove small oil patties washed up along a sixty kilometre stretch of coastline.
Maritime Safety Queensland is leading a multi-agency response using the combined resources of MSQ, RoadTek and Marine Parks with SES and local council workers on standby.
Minister for Main Roads and Ports Mark Bailey said the area was first assessed on Tuesday followed by the arrival of the clean-up crews yesterday who were making steady progress.
“The teams arrived on barges in the morning and were at work by midday which is an outstanding effort at very short notice,” Mr Bailey said.
“We can expect to have the clean-up substantially completed within the week depending on weather with some possible follow-up operations to catch anything we may have missed.”
“Our approach continues to be removal of the oil patties by rake and shovel which is hard work but minimises the impact on the environment.”
“Of course the safety and welfare of our crews is a priority and we will make sure they have adequate food, water, sun protection and regular breaks.”
“We are confident we have the resources to manage the incident which has not escalated beyond initial assessments and offers from volunteers aren’t necessary.”
“I want to thank all the crews involved for their quick response who are all playing a part in the operation.”
Minister for Environment Steven Miles said the island was open for business.
“There are no disruptions to beach traffic but we are urging drivers to slow down near work crews,” Dr Miles said.
“We have had no reports of any impact on wildlife, which is good news so far.”
“We are continuing to investigate the source of the oil which has impacted one of our most valuable World Heritage listed nature assets.”
Minister Bailey said a list of ships known to have been in the area over the past week is being compiled.
“Any oil spill incident in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or our coastal waters is regarded as serious,” Mr Bailey said.
Maximum fines for a corporation for a discharge offence can include $11.78 million under Queensland law and $17 million under Commonwealth law.
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Image Credit: Dave Hunt/AAP
Source: Queensland Government