• EPA Tasmania
  • Assesment
  • Regulation & Assessment
  • Sustainability
  • Policy & Legislation

Pool of volunteers guided in shoreline cleanup

Volunteers from the State Emergency Service and local councils have received instruction on what to do in the event of a marine oil spill off the coast of Tasmania.

The two day Shoreline Cleanup Workshop was run at Burnie by staff in the Environment Division of the Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts.

Senior Environmental Officer in the Environment Division Rosemary Holness said the course was designed to train volunteers from the north west of the state to help clean-up an oiled shoreline.

"We examined different types of shorelines and talked about what actually happens when oil is spilled," Ms Holness said.

"For example, the process of responding to an oil spill is different if it is a sandy shoreline or a rocky one and it is important for volunteers who may be called out to assist to understand the difference."

The two day course also examines different types of marine oil – from crude oil to heavy fuel oil – and the damage they can cause to a shoreline.

"It is vitally important to have trained people on hand because we will need to draw on this pool to help with an oil spill anywhere off the Tasmanian coastline and they can hit the ground running," Ms Holness said.

The course includes explanation of the tools used to help clean-up an oil spill, including booms and a skimmer – a piece of equipment used to suck the oil out of the water.

The Burnie workshop is part of ongoing marine oil spill training across the state and interstate, which also includes courses on how to operate large equipment and helicopter training.

"The Australian Marine Oil response and the Oil Spill Response Incident Control System (OSRICS) are also explained to let participants know there are set structures in place," Ms Holness said.