Shipping resumes at Port of Brisbane

Priority shipping operations have resumed at the Port of Brisbane after floods saw the facility close mid-last week

January 17, 2011

Priority shipping operations resumed at the Port of Brisbane over the weekend, with a crude oil tanker being the first ship to dock.

Ships were forced to divert to either Melbourne or Sydney last week after widespread flooding saw the facility closed and vessels removed on Wednesday (January 12).

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says crews from the Port of Brisbane Corporation and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) have been working long hours in difficult conditions to survey the channel and clear debris needed to get shipping operations going again.

"The Port of Brisbane is a critical part of Queensland's trade and freight network," Nolan says.

"This is an important step in getting goods moving in and out of Brisbane and helping guarantee the thousands of jobs our transport network supports," she says.

According to Nolan, a second crude tank will berth at the Port today, along with ship movements out of Fisherman Islands.

She says it may take some weeks to bring all berths on line, including the passenger berth at Portside.

MSQ General Manager Patrick Quirk says surveyors have found sunken yachts, uprooted trees, massive truck tyres and large domestic freezers in the area.

"Some of the debris has already been removed so safe shipping movements can begin again," he says. "But there will be more work needed over coming months."

"The Port of Brisbane has a dredge that will be working overtime once the silt settles in coming weeks."

Nolan adds that the massive clean-up of boats, pontoons and other material washed downstream would be undertaken on a risk-based approach.

"This will take a long time and I urge people to be patient," she says.

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