Oil and chemical spill incidents can have devastating effects on the environment. Water- based spills can result in major biological issues, physical contamination, and disruption to industries that rely heavily on waterways for their operations. Recreational activities can also be impacted when spills encroach on beaches and local waterways.
Although land-based spills tend to move more slowly and affect smaller areas, they are still hazardous to people and the environment.
State and federal agencies work together to respond to land and water-based spills. Maritime Safety Queensland (a branch of the Department of Transport and Main Roads) is the lead agency in Queensland for responding to maritime spills, and the Department of Environment and Science provides it with assistance where the spills affect wildlife. The Department of Environment and Science is the lead agency for responding to land- based spills.