Albany to host major oil spill response exercise
News for the Department of Transport
One of the State's largest ever oil spill response exercises involving around 220 participants from 22 organisations will centre on Albany next month.
Staged over four days commencing 12 November 2018, Exercise Amity Challenge provides a valuable opportunity for the Southern Ports Authority and Department of Transport (DoT) to work cooperatively to boost local and State arrangements to effectively respond to a significant oil spill in Princess Royal Harbour.
Importantly, the exercise will also provide an opportunity for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, with assistance from several petroleum companies, to hone the State's plans for dealing with wildlife impacted by a spill.
DoT is the State's lead agency for ensuring an effective response to maritime environmental emergencies and the exercise will also involve participants from the City of Albany, all five of the State's port authorities, WA Police, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, the Department of Primary Industry and Resource Development and several other organisations.
DoT Marine Safety General Manager Ray Buchholz said the exercise would provide all participating organisations with a realistic scenario to measure their individual preparedness and response capabilities as well as their ability to work collectively to ensure an overall coordinated response.
"With an extremely low incidence of major maritime environmental emergencies in Australia, a major exercise such as this provides specialist trained responders with an opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge," Mr Buchholz said.
Field deployments, both in the immediate port area and at Shoal Beach later in the exercise, will involve booms and skimmers, the simulated clean-up of oil and the collection and treatment of simulated oiled wildlife.
On the final days of the exercise (14,15 November 2018) public access to Shoal Beach will be restricted and there will be local traffic control measures in place.
Mr Buchholz said members of the community should not be concerned if they observe equipment deployments and other exercise related activities in the Albany area.
"While the State is well prepared to respond to major maritime environmental emergencies in the Albany area, exercises such as these provide a valuable opportunity to enhance response arrangements," Mr Buchholz said.
For further information about maritime environmental emergency response arrangements in WA, visit: www.transport.wa.gov.au/oilspill
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