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Christmas Island wreck could be left to rot

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today that the Federal Government was ‘sitting on its hands’ over the salvage of the wrecked ship responsible for January’s Christmas Island oil spill.

In Question Time today, the Federal Government today could not answer questions on the salvage of the disintegrating MV Tycoon, which was irreparably damaged after breaking its moorings and striking cliffs near the loading facility on the Island.

“Since being wrecked, the Tycoon has leaked heavy bunker oil, diesel and phosphate into the ocean,” Senator Siewert said today.

“The ship is now in three pieces, but the Government appears happy to wait until investigations are completed before they look at salvage options.

“Delaying the salvage has no practical benefit to the investigation into the incident and only increases the prospect of long term environmental damage.

“The Government today said that no observable impacts of the spill have been examined. I question the detail with which monitoring has been undertaken, given areas of sea have been inaccessible to divers due to bad weather and they appear to be relying on observations from the beach.

“I will be pursuing more information on what steps have been taken to monitor the environmental impact of this accident in Senate estimates.

“The Federal Government needs to take carriage of this and ensure the safe removal of the vessel is a priority.

“I am deeply concerned that the wreck will not be removed because there is no profit for anybody in the salvage, what does this mean for the marine environment?” Senator Siewert concluded.

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