MARITIME Safety Queensland says it plans to align the arrival of vessels into the Port of Gladstone with Brisbane and Townsville from this Friday night.

In a letter to Ports Australia, MSQ general manager Angus Mitchell said the goal was to align Queensland measures with those endorsed by Federal Cabinet in early April.

“In this context, I have recently reviewed the case for the Port of Gladstone to receive vessels in under 14 days from last foreign port, provided there is compliance with Federal Directives,” Mr Mitchell said.

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“This will be a further step in aligning with National Cabinet’s undertaking for national consistency, as well as meeting the guidance of Queensland Health’s Border restrictions….

“I now intend to align the arrival of vessels into the Port of Gladstone with that of the Port of Brisbane and Port of Townsville from 23:59 hrs, Friday 15 May.”

Mr Mitchell said the profile of Gladstone was similar to that of Brisbane and Townsville in having a mixture of trades with “some operating under critical timeframes”.

“As with all processes, MSQ will continue to advocate a best practice approach to ensure maritime operations adhere to the highest level of safety, and the maritime workforce is adequately protected, and risks minimised,” he said.

In a statement on social media, Shipping Australia indicated support for the changes.

“Shipping Australia warmly welcomes this positive move by Maritime Safety Queensland during these difficult times when reducing impediments to shipping is particularly important,” SAL stated.

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