Bundaberg Port manager Jason Pascoe and Bundaberg Regional Council disaster management officer Mal Churchill look over the equipment used in a oil spill response demonstration, which is part of the major disaster conference.
Bundaberg Port manager Jason Pascoe and Bundaberg Regional Council disaster management officer Mal Churchill look over the equipment used in a oil spill response demonstration, which is part of the major disaster conference. Scottie Simmonds

Oil spill demonstration in port

A SIMULATED oil spill at the Bundaberg Port attracted the attention of 60 delegates visiting for the Disaster Management for Local Government conference.

Members of council and disaster management teams from across the state, various government departments and Local Government Association of Queensland members toured the Bundaberg Port, rum distillery and Bondstore on the first of the three-day event to learn about emergency management issues faced by some of the region's biggest infrastructure facilities.

Bundaberg Port manager Jason Pascoe said it was a rare opportunity for people to see an oil spill response on water.

While no oil was actually released, attendees were taken through staffing requirements, procedures and what responses and equipment would be used in the event of an oil spill.

“We also took them through the bulk sugar terminals and talked about the dredging as a response to the flooding and the scope of the dredging,” he said.

Mr Pascoe said 170,000 cubic metres had already been removed, which was about half of what was expected to come out of the river.

Bundaberg Regional Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said it was a great opportunity to hold the conference in Bundaberg.

Cr Pyefinch said she would be taking the chance to talk to Premier Anna Bligh and Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts about the needs of the region.

“They are well informed about Bundaberg, but we have made a specific appointment to speak to the minister about an evacuation centre,” she said.

Cr Pyefinch said as the State Government had classed Bundaberg as an at-risk area for Category 5 cyclones, she believed it should help in the funding of a multi-purpose evacuation centre.

During the next two days, Cr Pyefinch said the conference would focus on sharing experiences from council, State Government and emergency services.

There will also be discussion about the better technologies and their impact on disaster planning and an update on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.



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