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Oil spill training exercise

The Environment Division has been working with the Tasmania Fire Service and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority this week to conduct equipment training for the National Plan for Oil Spills.

The aim is to ensure there are sufficient trained personnel to combat a major pollution incident like the Iron Baron disaster in 1995.

The fact that Tasmania will host a major National Oil Spill Exercise later in the year has given an even sharper edge than usual to the training.

Environment's manager for greenhouse and ship-sourced pollution, John Isaac, said the week-long training has involved more than 70 people.

The focus has been Bell Bay and Hobart with the training of port staff, relevant state service employees and industry.

Training at George Town airport was primarily aimed at the Fire Service and included the use of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to spray "dispersant" over an area of sea.

"An encouraging aspect of the training has been the networking and strengthening of cooperation between Commonwealth, State and local personnel," John said.