Austrailian Pollution

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Australian Sea Dumping 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 defined in Australian legislation, is the discarding of material 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 sixty years sea dumping has been regulated by domestic legislation with increasing restriction on the type of material dumped. As Australian Goverment 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, and act to control the dumping of vessels that could potentially obstruct shipping channels or interfere with trawling grounds. Since 1975 an international agreement known as the London Convention has controlled sea dumping internationally. In order to ratify the London Convention, Australia enacted the Environment Protection Act 1981 which prevents the dumping of some wastes and provides for the regulated dumping of other substances in waters off Australia and its External Territories. Currently most sea dumping permits in Australia are issued by the Federal Government Environment Protection Group. Most permits issued are for the creation of artificial reefs or for disposal of uncontaminated dredge spoil. Historically, obsolete ammunition, organic refuse, chemicals and other waste also been dumped of Australia. The need for an international convention to control the dumping of wastes at sea was recognized in 1971 at the first meeting of the preparatory committee for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. As a result of the views expressed at this meeting the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter was finalized in 1972. The London Convention controls marine pollution from dumping and incineration at sea. It prohibits the dumping of some substances including plastics and mercury and allows the regulated dumping of other substances. It does not cover operational discharges from ships, for example, ballast water and oily bilge water. Current proposals to amend the Convention include replacing the existing list of banned substances with severely restricted list of substances which may be dumped at sea. Although sea dumping has been a common method of waste disposal around the world some countries have greatly r

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