Anger rises over Botany Bay oil spill

FOLLOWING on from last week’s report of an oil spill discovered in Sydney’s Botany Bay, the site of an important recreational fishing haven, it has been reported that the contamination has been contained.  

According to the report in the Sutherland Shire’s Leader newspaper, a Caltex  spokeswoman said, “Caltex, along with Sydney Ports Corporation, have inspected both the north and south side of Botany Bay by boat and also by foot along the beachfront.” she said.

“Booms will remain in place on the south side of the bay for another tide change as a precaution only.

Recreational Fishing Alliance chairman Malcolm Poole said anglers were concerned about the immediate and long-term effects of the oil spill.

“The public were gathering, watching the wind drift oil spill wash-up on the local beaches, the white sand being covered with an increasing oily scum and sludge,” he said.

“No health or safety warnings were posted at local boat ramps, in the bay or . . . beaches by those in control of the oil spill.”

Another alliance member had told radio station 2UE that it was the biggest spill he had seen in 30 years of fishing in and around Botany Bay.

Nature Conservation Council of NSW chief executive Pepe Clarke said Caltex had breached the pollution licence at the site more than 140 times since 2000.

“This company is a repeat offender, which appears to treat pollution penalties as a cost of doing business,” he said.

“Blaming the weather for the oil spill is a weak excuse . . . The pollution control systems at the refinery should be built to cope with heavy rain.”

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