Broome Port prepares for marine emergency simulation exercise

News for the Department of Transport


The Port of Broome will be the focus of a large-scale maritime environmental emergency exercise between Tuesday 17 and Friday 19 October 2023.

Exercise Roebuck Challenge will be managed by the Department of Transport and the Kimberley Ports Authority, and will be used to evaluate arrangements for the coordination and control of maritime environmental emergencies in WA, using a shipping incident within a port as a scenario.

Personnel from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Nyamba Buru Yawuru, the Shire of Broome and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will also take part.

The exercise will involve a simulated ship incident in Port of Broome waters, resulting in oil impacting adjacent beaches.

Responding agencies will manage simulated hazardous materials and affected wildlife as well as management of the simulated damaged ship. 

Marine, shoreline and oiled wildlife response teams will all work ‘in field’ over the course of the exercise.

The significant tidal movements at Broome will provide an additional challenge in the scenario.

Operations will be based at several locations around Broome, and independent observers and assessors will evaluate Exercise Roebuck Challenge and a thorough de-brief will be held at the conclusion of the exercise. 

The Department of Transport and the Kimberley Ports Authority will publish notices to mariners regarding the use of non-toxic fluoresceine dye and the deployment of spill response equipment around the Broome port to ensure the safety of port users.

Quotes from Chris Mather, Executive Director Maritime, Department of Transport

“Marine emergency exercises such as Roebuck Challenge are incredibly important in measuring Western Australia’s readiness for maritime incidents.

“Over three days several local, state and federal government agencies will work together in providing an effective and safe response on multiple fronts to a simulated major port incident.

“We do remind people that the exercise activities they might see in and around Broome are not an actual response and will bring little or no disruption to the local community.

“We also ask that people keep clear of any response activities around the Port of Broome and the waters of Roebuck Bay to allow the exercise participants to work safely.”

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Page last updated: Wed Oct 11 2023 4:18:32 PM