Clarke and Dawe – The Front Fell Off


Senator Collins, thanks for coming in. It’s a great pleasure, thank you. This ship that was involved in the incident in Western Australia this week… The one the front fell off? Yeah.
Yeah, that’s not very typical, I’d like to make that point. Well, how was it un-typical? Well there are a lot of these ships going around the world all the time, and very seldom does anything like this happen. I just don’t want people thinking that tankers aren’t safe. Was this tanker safe? Well, I was thinking more about the other ones. The ones that are safe?
Yeah, the ones the front doesn’t fall off. Well, if this wasn’t safe why did it have 80,000 tons of oil on it? I’m not saying it wasn’t safe, it’s just perhaps not quite as safe as some of the other ones. Why?
Well, some of them are built so that the front doesn’t fall off at all. Wasn’t this built so that the front wouldn’t fall off? Well, obviously not.
Well, how do you know? Well, because the front fell off and 20,000 tons of crude oil spilled into the sea caught fire. It’s a bit of a giveaway. I’d just like to make the point that it’s not normal. Well what sort of engineering standards are these oil tankers built to? Oh, very rigorous maritime engineering standards. What sort of thing?
Well, the front’s not supposed to fall off for a start. And what other things? Well, there are regulations governing what materials they can be made of. What materials?
Well, cardboard’s out. And?
No cardboard derivatives. Like paper?
No paper. No string. No sellotape. Rubber?
No, rubber’s out. Umm, they’ve got to have a steering wheel. There’s a minimum crew requirement. What’s the minimum crew?
Oh, one I suppose. So the allegations that they’re just designed to carry as much oil as possible no matter the consequences, that’s ludicrous? Absolutely ludicrous, these are very very strong vessels. So what happened?
Well, the front fell off in this case by all means, but it’s very unusual. But Senator Collins, why did the front fall off? Well a wave hit it. A wave hit it? A wave hit the ship. Is that unusual?
Oh yeah. At sea? Chance in a million! So what do you do to protect the environment in cases like this? Well the ship was towed outside the environment. Into another environment?
No, no, it was towed beyond the environment. It’s not in the environment. No but from one environment to another environment. No it’s beyond the environment. It’s not in an environment. It’s been towed beyond the environment.
But it must be somewhere… Well, what’s out there? Nothing’s out there! Well there must be something out there.
There is nothing out there – all there is is sea and birds and fish. And?
And 20,000 tons of crude oil. And what else?
And fire. And anything else?
And the part of the ship that the front fell off. But there’s nothing else out there. Senator Collins, thanks for joining us. It’s a complete void. Yeah, we’re out of time.
The environment’s perfectly safe. We’re out of time? Yeah.
Can you book me a cab? But didn’t you come in a commonwealth car? Yes I did but…
What happened?
… well, the front fell off.

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