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Christmas Island spill could be ‘devastating’ - Greens

The Australian Greens have called for an immediate inquiry into the cause of the shipping accident and subsequent oil spill at Christmas Island.

"This accident could cause devastating impacts on the marine environment around Christmas Island, with little hope of clean up or remediation,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.

"Why was this ship left on moorings at the loading dock when the forecast was indicating swell conditions? I understand that under these circumstances it would be normal to move the ship from moorings- why didn’t this happen?

"Given the nature of the conditions it is unlikely that the heavy bunker oil, diesel and phosphate currently flowing into the marine environment will be contained or cleaned up.

"This will have potentially long term impacts on the marine environment and seabirds. If the oil continues to be dispersed by the rough seas, the likelihood of seabird impacts increase.

"It is essential that seabird rescue equipment be made available and long term monitoring put in place.  We need to learn from the mistakes of the Montara incident and ensure that monitoring programs are put in place early," Senator Siewert concluded.

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