The Australian Greens are calling of the state and federal governments to urgently start cleaning up the Shen Neng contamination in the Great Barrier Reef and then recoup the cost from the ship's owners.
Questioning by Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, in Senate Estimates today revealed clean-up work has not begun.
"It's now more than five years since the disaster, but the federal government is waiting on the outcome of lengthy court case against the ship owner's insurance company which has already dragged on for two years.
"The hearing will not occur until April 2016, and the case will likely go on for many months after that. All the while the toxic TBT anti-foulant chemical will still be sitting on Douglas Shoal inhibiting coral growth, and at risk of spreading across local reefs.
"The Director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said today that the clean-up is urgent and that the wreck is the 'world's largest scar on a coral reef'.
"This mess is highly toxic to marine life and the federal and State governments should urgently clean it up instead of waiting around for lengthy legal proceedings," Senator Waters said.