Today I contacted Minister for Infrastructure Darren Chester to offer bipartisan support for action to ensure cruise ships on Sydney Harbour use low sulfur fuel.
I offered Mr Chester full co-operation to address news that federal anti-pollution legislation passed in January had the unintended consequence of rendering inoperable the NSW Government’s new requirements on the use of low-sulfur fuel (0.1 per cent or less) on the harbour.
Residents of Balmain have expressed legitimate concern about fuel fumes from cruise ships in White Bay and it is important that the Commonwealth act to address this situation as soon as possible after the July 2 election.
I offered to work with Mr Chester to support any Commonwealth action to resolve this issue through legislation or through the designation of the International Maritime Organisation.
Cruise ships provide significant economic activity for Sydney.
But it is important that they operate with environmental best practice.
I am pleased that the cruise ship industry has agreed to voluntarily implement the NSW Government policy of using low sulfur fuel.
Commonwealth action is required to ensure this continues. This issue should be above politics.