Emergency response protocols have been tested as part of a staged exercise at Port Botany’s Bulk Liquids Berth (BLB) this week.
The NSW Ports-led exercise was held yesterday (Wednesday, 7 December 2022), which also involved representatives from Fire and Rescue NSW, the Port Authority of NSW and Quantem – a bulk liquids and storage business operating at the port.
NSW Ports General Manager of Operations Jonathan Lafforgue said such drills were a critical part of ensuring response mechanisms and emergency procedures remained current and fit-for-purpose at the State’s premier port and trade gateway.
“Ensuring workers across our ports can carry out their day-to-day operations in a safe and secure environment is a top priority for NSW Ports,” Mr Lafforgue said.
“Maintaining strong, thorough emergency response protocols across our precincts are important for 24/7 port operations, which include container handling terminals and bulk liquid operations where multiple fuels and chemicals are imported."
“I thank everyone involved in the exercise. While we work very hard to ensure these protocols don’t need to swing into action, it’s imperative we keep them up-to-date and ensure we’re ready to respond, if required.”
Fire and Rescue NSW Zone Commander, Superintendent Peter Cleary, said the agency welcomed the opportunity to fine-tune its capabilities relating to port emergencies.
“Our motto is ‘Prepared for Anything’ and we appreciate the chance to familiarise our people with these types of hazardous material incident scenarios,” Superintendent Cleary said.
Port Authority of NSW Sydney Harbour Master Myron Fernandes said as the lead agency for on water pollution incidents, Port Authority participates and coordinates important multi-agency emergency exercises.
“It is critical to bring key agencies together to test our preparedness to respond in the event of an on-water emergency,” he said.
“Working together as part of training exercises provides an opportunity for all port stakeholders to ensure the coordination and implementation of emergency response plans is well-honed and ready for any emergency response.”
This week’s staged scenario involved a hose pumping a chemical from a ship into a BLB tank, during which the hose burst, with the damage causing the chemical to spread onto the dock and create a vapour cloud in the air. The subsequent drill included: evacuating the wharf; issuing emergency warnings; containing the spill; reducing its spread; and cleaning up the chemical.
Once the live exercise was complete, all organisations also conducted a thorough debrief to adopt any improvements to their associated emergency procedures and related policies.
For media inquiries, contact:
Brooke.Eggleton@nswports.com.au | 0419 684 953