The long standing problem of dangerous air pollution from cruise ships in White Bay will at last be solved through a new federal regulation requiring the use of low sulphur fuel.
The regulation, which I officially proposed last week in the Parliament, will be implemented by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
All cruise ships berthed in Sydney Harbour will be directed to adhere to a strict 0.1 per cent limit on sulphur content in the fuel they use.
Since becoming the federal member representing Balmain at the July election I have met repeatedly with departmental officers and Minister Chester to insist on a solution to this long standing problem.
Balmain residents have been fighting for more than 5 years for proper protections against cruise ship emissions.
Five months after being elected to represent these residents for the first time I am very pleased to have been able to deliver a proper solution.
Last Sunday I addressed a meeting of Balmain residents who have been affected by emissions from Cruise Ships in White Bay for many years.
I gave a commitment to those residents that if the Government had not issued a directive to fix this problem by the end of this parliamentary sitting week that I would introduce a private members bill to force through this overdue environmental protection.
I thank the Minister for working with me in a bipartisan fashion to achieve this outcome.
This order will achieve the precise protection NSW Government had previously sought to enact for berthed ships.
Ship to shore power, which can eliminate the need for berthed ships to burn fuel at all, can and must also be provided by the NSW Government at White Bay.
I will continue to fight hard to force the NSW Government to implement this common sense solution as well.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.