Australia Said Slow to Clean Up Oil Spill

SYDNEY, Oct. 26 (UPI) — The Federal Opposition said the Australian government is being complacent in intercepting an oil leak from a rig near Western Australia’s north coast.

The oil rig, run by PTTEP Australasia, has leaked oil for more than nine weeks into the Timor Sea, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday. Attempts to intercept the spill have been delayed three times and a fourth try is scheduled for Tuesday, the news agency reported.

“It’s been nine and a half weeks of complacency, nine and a half weeks of belching oil and nine and a half weeks of continued failure,” Greg Hunt, the Opposition’s spokesman for the environment, said.

Hunt said the government should bring in international experts to take care of the situation and accused the government of ignoring an enormous marine disaster.

“It’s an out of sight out of mind philosophy, if this spill were occurring off the coast of Sydney or Melbourne, the Federal Government would be up in arms,” Hunt said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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