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National Plan oil spill response team leaders put through their paces

Wednesday 12 February 2014
National Response Team leaders from across Australia have gathered in Devonport, Tasmania to undertake annual training as part of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s preparedness for oil spill response under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies.

From Wednesday, February 12 to Friday, February 14 the team leaders from the National Response Team (NRT) will undertake safety training around aircraft and rotate in groups using equipment used in the event of an oil spill.

AMSA Chief Executive Officer Graham Peachey said the training was vital in maintaining the skills of the NRT leaders in accordance with the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances.

“The National Response Team provides support to the Australian and state governments in the event of a major oil pollution incident,” Mr Peachey said.

“We hope we are never faced with this sort of event but AMSA’s role is to ensure if the worst were to happen we have highly trained people ready to respond quickly and effectively.”

NRT team leaders will practice using booms, dispersant spray systems, rope mops, skimmers and helicopter spray buckets, which would be used in the event of a maritime environmental emergency.

Much of the training will focus on some of the new equipment that has been purchased and distributed to the nine strategic National Plan stockpiles. There has been a substantial investment in these stockpiles during the last three years.

“This hands-on training provides realistic and practical use of the equipment stored around Australia in AMSA’s stockpiles, which are at strategically positioned locations around the nation,” Mr Peachey said.

“The course consists of both theory and practical elements to ensure the team leaders are adequately prepared in the event of an oil pollution emergency.”

The National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies is a cooperative arrangement between all states, the Northern Territory and the Federal Government to respond to marine pollution incidents.

The training occurs annually and will be undertaken at a Devonport Beach this year.

Further National Plan training is planned in Darwin in June.

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