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Oil Spill Insurance Will Help Keep Out Rust-Bucket

Oil Spill Insurance Will Help Keep Out Rust-Buckets

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today congratulated National MP Nick Smith and the Insurance Council for forcing the Government's hand on compulsory minimum insurance for all ships.

She also congratulated the Government on being prepared to pick up a good idea even when it came from the other side of the House.

"This is how common sense policies should work," she said.

Transport Minister Mark Gosche announced yesterday that compulsory insurance may be extended to all ships, so that oil spill clean-up costs would be covered in the event of a disaster.

"The stranding of the Jody F Millennium shows how expensive salvage and clean-up operations can be, especially when you're calling in tugs and helicopters - and it could have been much worse if the oil leak had not been contained" said Ms Fitzsimons.

"A damaged ship can haemorrhage money, and the New Zealand public should not have to pay to clean up the environment in the event of a shipping accident.

Ms Fitzsimons said in this case, it was lucky that the ship was relatively new and fully insured.

"If the ship had been a rust-bucket, it probably would have broken up in the past week and we could now be looking at an environmental disaster of monumental proportions.

"Compulsory insurance will help to keep older and more decrepit ships out of our waters. As the stranding of the Jody shows, any ship in trouble could put our coastline at risk from a serious oil spill."


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