Oil spills, container losses and other maritime environmental emergencies

Australia takes a collaborative approach in responding to maritime environmental emergencies like oil spills and container losses from shipping. This approach is outlined under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies, referred to simply as the ‘National Plan’. 

The National Plan brings together more than a dozen maritime safety and environmental health authorities from across federal, state and territory governments. It outlines detailed arrangements for funding, equipping, training and responding to emergencies that occur anywhere in Australian waters as a result of a shipping incident. 

On numerous occasions, including most recently with the mass container spills from YM Efficiency and APL England, the National Plan has seen these authorities spring into action within hours of an incident taking place. AMSA has a leading role in coordinating National Plan arrangements. 

The National Plan brings together and empowers some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest first responders who coordinate a holistic response to maritime environmental emergencies. Their singular goal is to protect and mitigate damage to Australia’s precious marine environment and coastal communities – and of course, to ensure that polluters pay.