GETTING PREPARED: Australian Seabird Rescue will hold a series of workshops so NSW can be better prepared to deal with an oil spill. Pictured is an oiled pelican from the Gulf of Mexico disaster last year.
GETTING PREPARED: Australian Seabird Rescue will hold a series of workshops so NSW can be better prepared to deal with an oil spill. Pictured is an oiled pelican from the Gulf of Mexico disaster last year.

Gulf oil spill lessons shared

AUSTRALIAN Seabird Rescue learnt valuable lessons from the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year, and will be doing its bit so NSW can be better prepared for a similar disaster.


The Ballina-based volunteer organisation sent two members to the Gulf to try to help the efforts in rescuing wildlife.


But red tape meant they, and other international volunteers, weren’t able to get involved.


However, Seabird Rescue’s general manager, Rochelle Ferris, said that after the ‘dismay’ at the handling of the Gulf oil spill, especially in relation to the response for wildlife, the organisation ‘vowed to do all we can in Australian to avoid a repeat of the situation’.


Seabird Rescue has received a grant of $8620 from the NSW Environmental Trust to hold five information days along the coast of NSW for volunteer wildlife carers.


“We will link carers with a network of hazmat training opportunities, handling and first aid for wildlife, an introduction to incident control systems, and local knowledge of important bird roosting sites,” Ms Ferris said.


“This project addresses the lack of marine incident response training for licensed volunteer wildlife agencies by facilitating an informed incident response network along the coastline of NSW.


“The project aims to establish an appropriately trained oiled fauna rescue network that will enhance the capacity of licensed wildlife welfare organisations to support and assist under the State Disaster Plan incident control system.”


The workshops will be held in Ballina, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong between April and September.


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