28 Nov 2006

P&O must be held accountable for oil waste dump, says provincial council in Vanuatu

8:11 pm on 28 November 2006

The Shefa Provincial Council in Vanuatu says P&O Cruises must be held responsible for the disposal of waste oil in Port Vila.

P&O is under pressure from Vanuatu authorities over allegations its cruise liner the Pacific Star has illegally dumped up to 500,000 litres of oil at the Port Vila dump site at Teouma.

Police and the Vanuatu Maritime Authority are investigating the dumped oil, which is expected to take a month, while local government authorities are calling for harsh fines.

Unlike some neighbouring countries, Vanuatu is not capable of properly processing such oil waste which is considered harmful to the environment.

The president of the provincial council John Markal says P&O needs to do more than just apologise.

"P&O told us they'd send a technical team from Australia to do an inspection and I haven't yet received any report from them up until now. They apologised for what they've done, and they said they're looking at ways of removing the waste matter."

John Markal