Yesterday's Courier Mail newspaper in Brisbane puts things in perspective. $11million fine for spilling oil, at least 5 birds contaminated.
Another industry kills 1,300 people at sea and hardly a peep.
AT least five birds have been contaminated in an oil spill at the Port of Brisbane - four pelicans and one cormorant.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson said it was believed between five and 10 tonnes of heavy oil had been spilled and it could take up to a week to clean up.
Wildlife carer Hammy Forrest said the contaminated birds had not yet been retrieved but it appeared they were heavily covered in oil.
"It's quite challenging,'' she said.
"Everyone's trying to sort out what oil it is but we can't do anything without Environment Department approval so we're just waiting to go."
Authorities are investigating which vessel is to blame.
"In terms of the vessel that may be the culprit in this, they're facing, if it's an individual, fines of up to $550,000, if it's a company, fines of up to $11 million as well as the cost of cleaning it up," Mr Emerson said.
"About 1400 meters along the wharf has been affected.
"It may take, to completely clean it up, about a week."
The environment department has been called as well to help stricken wildlife.
"We have had sightings already of pelicans being affected by the oil," Mr Emerson said.
"There was an added complication today with the arrival into the port of the USS George Washington but given that the oil is contained to the wharf itself, not into the channel that won't be impacted."