A CYCLONE in the Coral Sea appears to have paused in its slow progress towards the coast of South East Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology is now saying Cyclone Oma is unlikely to make landfall this weekend, albeit it is still making for very rough conditions in the waters between Gladstone and Ballina.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the Port of Brisbane was not closed “but we are continuing to closely monitoring shipping operations”.

 “Strong winds are a concern however all ships which were considered most likely to be impacted were cleared to sea [Thursday],” the spokesperson said.

“Challenging conditions off Mooloolaba have made it too difficult for marine pilots to safely board ships which includes visiting cruise liners.

“We suspended pilotage operations from 9pm [Thursday] and will continue to review this as conditions change.”

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Some cruise ships are understood to have held off visiting the area as a consequence of the bad weather. A spokesperson for the Port of Brisbane said the Harbour Master had advised that due to the severe wind conditions, all removals and departures were suspended.

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