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Oil spill threat to Lord Howe Island

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 20 Oct 2011

Commenting on the grounding of a supply ship carrying marine diesel fuel at the world heritage listed Lord Howe Island, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said she has written to the federal environment minister and would take the issue up in the current parliamentary estimate hearings ('Supply ship grounding 'an accident waiting to happen', Sydney Morning Herald, page 3)

"The operation of the MV Island Trader to Lord Howe Island has been an accident waiting to happen," Senator Rhiannon said.

"As a NSW Greens MP in state parliament I warned the then Labor government that granting the MV Island Trader a monopoly on delivering supplies to Lord Howe Island was inappropriate. Safeguards have weakened in this time and now the Coalition government has allowed a bad situation to deteriorate

"It is irresponsible to allow a single-skinned hull vessel to enter the waters of the unique Lord Howe environment.

"The possibility of an environmental disaster remains while this vessel is grounded on a sand bank.

"The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke needs to urgently step in and ensure the world heritage listing of the unique Lord Howe Island is not put at risk.

"I have received initial advice that single-skinned hull vessels are not allowed to operate in world heritage listed areas and will seek to have that confirmed ," Senator Rhiannon said.

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