Labor has voted with the Abbott government against a Greens Senate motion on pollution from cruise ships in White Bay, Balmain which is reportedly causing widespread health problems.
“It is deeply disappointing that the major parties have voted against our motion calling for mandatory minimum standards for cruise ships at White Bay,” said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
“Local residents are being exposed to damaging pollution from the cruise ships for much of the year because the White Bay cruise ship terminal does not have shore-to-ship power that would allow cruise ships to turn their engines off.
“Our motion called for mandatory shore-to-ship power for all new ship terminals, on-shore power sources for ships docked in Sydney Harbour, and a reduction in the allowable sulphur levels for fuels,” Senator Rhiannon said.
The Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker MP, said the terminal was having serious health impacts on the community.
“The White Bay terminal is a symbol of the failure of both the Labor and Liberal parties when it comes to planning and development on our harbour.
“Cruise ships at White Bay have created major problems with air and noise pollution. The residents of White Bay are suffering from the toxic exhaust fumes and noise pollution from ships engines running 24 hours a day when moored.
"This is one of the biggest health and environmental issues to emerge in recent times in Australia, but ignored by Labor and the Liberals.
“The former NSW Labor government created this problem by imposing the terminal in White Bay despite the better option at Barangaroo.
“The Labor and Liberal parties were both more interested delivering for developers at Barangaroo, instead of the community.
"Now both parties are refusing federally to install shore-to-ship power, or to follow international best practice on enforcing the use of low-sulphur fuel by ships to reduce hazardous fumes.
“Labor and Liberal in NSW have only promised low-sulphur fuel for ships so far, but the vote of their federal counterparts shows their true colours - a complete lack of commitment to stop this health hazard," said Mr Parker.