Australia's highest environment penalty of more than us $1 million was recently imposed on a German shipping company for an oil spill in Phillip Island. The court found the ship was knowingly sailing with leaking oil tanks and structural problems, when it left Melbourne for Sydney on February 27, 2003.
The discharge affected about 12 km of coastline affecting 24 little penguins and killing three. The cleanup cost came close to us $600,000. The oil had also affected a cormorant, nine silver gulls and five endangered hooded plovers.
The ship, anl Pioneer's owner Reederi Suderelbe of gmbh and Co Schiffahrts kg (rss) pleaded guilty to three charges. The ship's German master, Erhard Heinz Schuschan, too pleaded guilty. He was convicted and fined us $20,000. The court ordered payment of us $260,000 to the Phillip Island Nature Parks and us $42,000 for installing compost toilets. Another fine of us $50,000 was also levied. Penalties of the remaining two charges were adjourned the company to pay US $28,000 to Victoria's surf livesavers, for oil cleanup.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.