The cooperative arrangements for response to oil spills by Australian oil and associated industries are brought together under AMOSPlan.

AMOSPlan is managed by AMOSC, which also coordinates the participation of the oil industry in Australia’s National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies.

AMOSPlan replaces the previous industry mutual aid arrangement referred to as the Marine Oil Spills Action Plan (MOSAP).

The principle of the AMOSPlan mutual aid arrangements is that, in order to assist in a local response to an incident, individual company resources are available under cooperative arrangements through the AMOSC hiring agreements.

In a practical sense, individual companies deal with each other for mutual aid in responses to small oil spills using nominated Mutual Aid Contacts for each company site. AMOSC becomes involved to assist in the administrative arrangements and if the spill response requires additional resources.

AUSTRALIAN OIL SPILL RESPONSE

The umbrella oil pollution contingency planning and response arrangement for Australia is:

  • The National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies (National Plan);

The oil industry involvement in the National Plan is via:

  • The arrangements of each individual oil company;
  • The Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre (AMOSC);
  • Oil industry mutual aid arrangements – AMOSPlan

The National Plan

The National Plan is Australia’s contingency and response plan, which has been in operation since 1973 and involves the of Commonwealth, State and Territory governments and the oil, exploration and shipping industries to meet the threat of oil spills to Australia’s coastline and marine environment.

The National Plan is managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), a Commonwealth Government agency enterprise. Guidance is provided to AMSA by the National Plan Advisory Committee, which has Commonwealth, State and industry representation.
A wide range of National Plan equipment such as dispersant spraying apparatus, dispersants, containment and recovery devices and ship-to-ship transfer equipment is located around Australia.

A comprehensive training program is conducted by AMSA, State and industry bodies.

The National Plan provides a clear division of responsibility between government agencies and industry for response to an oil spill.

Funding for National Plan arrangements is provided by a levy placed on commercial shipping using Australian ports.

The Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre

AMOSC, an initiative of the Australian oil industry, was formed in 1991 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian Institute of Petroleum (AIP).

The role of AMOSC is:

  • provision of equipment and personnel on 24 hour standby basis, to respond to a major oil spill;
  • provision of oil spill training services at the training centre in Geelong;
  • administration of the oil industry mutual aid arrangements;
  • advice on oil spill equipment and issues as required;
  • AMOSC and oil industry spill response resources are available to the National Plan, through AMOSC.

Oil Industry Mutual Aid Arrangements – AMOSPlan

The oil industry voluntary mutual aid plans, first set up in 1971, allow an individual company to obtain assistance from other oil companies in combating a marine oil spill beyond that which can be handled by its own resources.

Local company contacts provide the mutual aid linkages, the legal arrangements are secured through the AMOSC hiring agreement and service contracts.