Shen Neng 1 response well executed

AN independent report into the grounding of the Shen Neng 1 bulk coal carrier on the Great Barrier Reef has concluded the response was well resourced and executed.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan, who tabled the report in Parliament yesterday, said that it had been prepared by an independent consultant Graham Miller and contained favourable findings and important lessons.

“Mr Miller’s report contains a full and frank analysis of how the response was conducted, what went right, and more importantly, where we could improve,” Ms Nolan told Parliament.

“The report provides important lessons for future marine casualty responses, both in Queensland and nationally.”

The 230 metre, fully laden bulk coal carrier, Shen Neng 1 ran aground on Douglas Shoal about 5pm on April 3. It was salvaged, lightened of coal and towed out of Australian waters on May 31, ending a two-month operation.

Ms Nolan said that while the report was favourable it also outlined lessons and recommendations in the case of similar incidents in the future.

“The recommendations of the Miller report will be incorporated in our plans and response arrangements for future contingencies,” said Ms Nolan.

The Minister said her department was already responding to the report’s recommendations by conducting a major desktop exercise next month to test multi-agency readiness to respond to a remote area oil spill in Far North Queensland.

The full report will be posted on Maritime Safety Queensland’s website.

The response was lead by Maritime Safety Queensland, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

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