MSQ gets new HQ with top view

HARBOUR safety will watched from a bird’s eye view when Gladstone’s Maritime Safety Queensland relocates to a site next to the Gladstone Entertainment Centre.

Premier Anna Bligh, with Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Leo Zussino and Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers announced the move as part of a $30 million redevelopment project at the centre yesterday.

The new MSQ headquarters will house the additional staff coming to down with the growth of shipping traffic in the harbour, as well as the new Reef ETS tracking system.

“After the Shen Neng incident last year the Federal Government agreed they would fund a GPS tracking of large vessels in the reef down to the southern end of the reef,” Ms Bligh said.

The new ETS system will be launched on July 1, initially running out of Townsville, until the new MSQ premises open in Gladstone at the end of next year.

“We (State Government) will be funding the relocation of Maritime Safety Queensland and the employment of the additional staff. Maritime Safety Queensland will be going from a staff of about 18 at the moment to about 35,” Ms Bligh said.

“We needed this extra space. We could have put it somewhere else in town, but making a decision to be an anchor tenant here gives the Port authority the financial security to invest in the additional car park and the expansion of the Entertainment Centre.”

Mr Zussino said the new system will require any vessel coming into Gladstone Harbour to be identified, to have a responder on, virtual shipping lanes through the Great Barrier Reef and the Reef ETS will control that.

“We will have all that tracking done here which will take away potential for another Shen Neng 1,” he said.

“The shipping channel in the Gladstone Harbour is the most important piece of infrastructure driving the economic development in Central Queensland and we need to be able to control that shipping channel well,” Mr Zussino said.

He said in the past 15 years, Gladstone Harbour’s shipping channel has had heaps of capacity.

“Obviously as we go through this redevelopment and the development of the LNG industry and Wiggins Island the shipping capacity in that channel is going to be start to be used up,” Mr Zussino said.

“We are going to need really good control of that channel so that we can maximise its potential.

He said staff at the Townsville MSQ, who have been trained in the new Reef ETS system for the Capricorn Bunker group, will be transfer down to the Gladstone office when its operational.

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