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|Title:||Sea dumping in Australia: historical and contemporary aspects|
|Organisation:||Department of Defence|
|Abstract:||The dumping of material in the world's oceans has a long history. Objects are dumped into the ocean in a variety of ways. Sea dumping, as currently defined in Australian legislation, is any deliberate disposal into the sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures and any deliberate disposal into the sea of vessels, aircraft, platforms or other man-made structures1. It does not include material released directly into the sea from a land source or operational discharges from ships. Sea dumping of wastes has been common practice in the waters surrounding Australia, from first European settlement until a couple of decades ago. For the past seventy years sea dumping has been regulated by domestic legislation with increasing restriction on the type of material dumped. As Australian Government policy has moved to increase protection of both land and marine environments, waste reduction and environmentally sustainable disposal methods have become increasingly important. To control the dumping of waste Australia first introduced the Beaches, Fishing Grounds and Sea Routes Protection Act 1932, an Act to control the dumping of vessels that could potentially obstruct shipping channels or interfere with trawling grounds. Since 1975 an international agreement, the Convention On The Prevention Of Marine Pollution By Dumping Of Wastes And Other Matter, 1972 (or London Convention) has controlled sea dumping internationally. In order to ratify the London Convention, Australia enacted the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 which provides for the regulated dumping of wastes and other substances in waters off Australia and its External Territories. More recently Australia has implemented the 1996 Protocol to the Convention On The Prevention Of Marine Pollution By Dumping Of Wastes And Other Matter, 1972. The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention severely restricts the list of substances which may be dumped at sea. Currently most sea dumping permits in Australia are issued by the Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH)2 and are for the disposal of uncontaminated dredge spoil. In accord with its status as the predominant dumping permit, DEH has produced the National Ocean Disposal Guidelines for Dredged Material3. It assists permit applicants by providing a comprehensive framework for the assessment of the environmental impacts from the disposal at sea of dredged material, in accordance with domestic environmental protection legislation and Australia's international obligations. Occasionally, under strictly limited circumstances, permits are issued for the creation of artificial reefs. Historically, obsolete ammunition, organic refuse, chemicals and other waste have also been dumped off Australia.|
|Place:||Canberra, ACT, Australia|
|Appears in Collections:||North Coast Local Land Services|
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