Australian specialists to aid NZ clean up oil spill

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 14, 2011
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Australia's Queensland is sending wildlife recovery staff to help New Zealand authorities deal with the oil spill in the Bay of Plenty on North Island, the state Environment Minister Vicky Darling announced on Friday.

Oil booms are prepared on New Zealand's North Island. [Agencies]

Oil booms are prepared on New Zealand's North Island. [Agencies] 

Darling said up to six members of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT) would be sent to the city of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.

She said information provided by the officers would play a key role in planning and prioritizing clean-up efforts.

"The SCAT crews will map the affected areas measuring the size of the affected area and the scale of the oil impacts and indicating the type of habitat affected," she said in a statement on Friday.

"New Zealand authorities will use this information to best direct their response efforts."

Oil is coating the Bay of Plenty beaches after the container ship Rena hit a reef on October 5.

Darling said Queensland's internationally recognized oiled wildlife response expert Mike Short had arrived in New Zealand a week ago and was already assisting the response efforts.

"Other team members are due to fly out today and early next week with further members on standby to assist as required," she said.

Darling said the SCAT crews were sent following a request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for shoreline assessment teams.

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