After reading the front page of the Herald Sun on June 6, Great Fuel Sheik Down, I thought I would share my experiences on one of the many sea-going vessels I worked on for more than 20 years.
The ship was called the Robert Miller, and was one of two husband-and-wife company-owned oil tankers.
I joined the ship in Sydney’s Gore Bay where the Shell oil refinery is and we sailed for Barrow Island which is off Karratha near Port Headland.
On arrival at Barrow Island we were met by a small tug boat with a three-man crew which would take the tie-up ropes off the ship and connect the ropes to huge buoys connected to the sea bed.
We would be there for three days, five miles offshore, and have crude oil pumped into the hold of the tanker from a huge pipe that came out of the sea which was protected by an even bigger round house wharf.
We then sailed back to Gore Bay in Sydney to the refinery to have the crude pumped into the refinery.
On one of my many trips to the island I was injured on board and put ashore at Barrow Island. I stayed in one of many units there for two days until the new crew for the island flew in and the old crew flew out.
While there I was fortunate enough to meet the curator of the island, Harry Butler, who had the biggest hands I have seen.
He was great to talk to and told me that the island had 450 oil wells on it with most of them being capped.
‘‘Why are they capped?’’ I asked. Because oil was found and would be kept there for when needed, was the answer.
He said there was enough oil on this island to keep Australia going for at least 100 years.
So I ask the question, why are we not using our own oil reserves?
Why are we being dictated to by OPEC and being ripped off?
The newspapers only tell us what they want us to know, and keep us in the dark like mushrooms fed on you know what.
— Mick Crozier,
When the ban on plastic bags at Coles and Woolworths comes into effect we have to remember check-out workers should not be open to abuse from angry customers.
Many are part-time juniors who are still at school.
— Graham Palmer