DELIVERY: A crane moving a coal haulage wagon from a ship at the Port of Mackay.
DELIVERY: A crane moving a coal haulage wagon from a ship at the Port of Mackay.

Tough new measures at NQ ports amid COVID-19 pandemic

NEW control measures are being deployed by North Queensland Bulk Ports amid COVID-19, but essential service delivery will continue at ports in Bowen and Weipa.

In an update to shareholders, NQBP chief executive Nicolas Fertin said office employees were working from home, meaning the Mackay Marina and Brisbane offices would be unattended.

However, the Mackay Port security office remains open and vessels will continue to be serviced.

It follows revelations in January that Aurizon coal haulage wagons delivered to the Port of Mackay were built in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

Four representatives from the wagon manufacturer were flown to Mackay in January to help with commissioning, however an Aurizon spokesman said they had not presented any symptoms of the virus.

Mr Fertin says NQBP's four ports will remain open during this "evolving situation".

"Across all ports we're maintaining our service delivery including first strike response capability for pollution events," he said.

NQBP chief executive Nicolas Fertin.
NQBP chief executive Nicolas Fertin.

"Essential service delivery, including security, critical maintenance and breakdown services, will continue to be provided for the ports and infrastructure at Bowen and Weipa."

Social distancing measures have been implemented for operations delivered at the ports, including security, pilotage, lines handling and infrastructure management.

"We all have a role to play in keeping ourselves and others well. The health and safety of our people is our number one priority," Mr Fertin said.

"We also recognise that our ports are critical to around 27,000 miners, farmers and transport providers.

"I am proud of the way NQBP is balancing our number one priority with the criticality of our ports."

The measures are in line with advice from the Australian Government Department of Health, Queensland Health and Australian Border Force.


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