find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Greens oil spill proposal criticised

Greens oil spill proposal criticised

Legal experts on Thursday criticised the Greens proposal to change federal laws to prevent foreign ships leaving Australian ports during rough weather, labelling it as impractical.Calls for…

Legal experts on Thursday criticised the Greens proposal to change federal laws to prevent foreign ships leaving Australian ports during rough weather, labelling it as impractical.

Calls for change came from the Greens after an oil spill covered 60 kilometres of the Queensland coast, when a cargo ship accidently dumped an estimated 250 tonnes of oil into the water last week.

Dr Michael White QC from the University of Queensland, told Lawyers Weekly that the Australian ports have numerous ships entering and leaving and that the Green's suggestion was not practical.

"Who's going to stop [the ships]? There are already adequate powers to stop unseaworthy ships sailing and controlsand there are adequate powers for the harbourmaster to control the port," he said.

"It was an accident. The captain and crew took a seaworthy ship out of Newcastle, headed for Brisbane as planned, they ran into heavy weather which is the after math of Cyclone Hamish and unfortunately, in a heavy roll, the lashings broke and the containers broke away and in the end 31 went over one side or the other."

Dr Craig Forrest, also from the University of Queensland, was not sure whether the federal law could be changed but said the real legal implications were prosecution of the captain of the ship and compensation.

"Certainly for the master it can involve imprisonment, but, of course, for the owners it's going to be a fine of some sort but it's usually the owner of the vessel that they're going to target because it's the owner of the vessel that's going to be able to pay the fine for the offence that has been committed," he said.

"The other, perhaps more important, element to this is the compensation - you have obviously large amounts of money being spent on the clean-up operations and MSQ [Maritime Safety Queensland] are involved with that and all the other agencies that are spending money cleaning this up want compensation for that.

"But then you also have private individuals who want compensation - the tourist resorts, the tourist operators, the fishing industry itself, all are losing ... money and they are going to want compensation so that's probably going to become, in some ways, a more important legal ramification."

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, MSQ and the Australian Safety Bureau are currently undertaking investigations into the incident.

- Sarah Sharples

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Greens oil spill proposal criticised
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Aug 16 2017
Urgent criminal law reforms can prevent ‘unwarranted acquittals’
Concerns about unfair prejudice arising from the use of tendency and coincidence evidence are mispla...
Aug 15 2017
Press Control-S on your firm
Promoted by BHL Software It’s now a truism that when your IT systems stop working, so does you...
Aug 15 2017
The Importance of Leadership Skills for Aspiring Lawyers
Promoted by LHD Lawyers Even the most prominent lawyers of our age (or ages past, for that matter...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...