BERTHS at the Port of Brisbane are cautiously reopening following the success of two priority vessel movements last Thursday, but the discovery of navigational obstructions means restrictions are still in place.

Shipping came to a standstill at the port last week as a major flooding event impacted navigation, prompting the regional harbour master to close the port.

River conditions have improved, enabling a small number of vessel movements to take place on Friday.

In an operational statement issued on Friday, a Port of Brisbane spokesperson said departing vessels moored at Fisherman Island would be given priority to move when safe to do so.

“Berths upstream present higher risk outcomes presently, due to water velocity and more debris in the navigational areas,” the spokesperson said.

They said PBPL survey teams and vessels would check each berth and conduct salvage and debris removal of the vacated berth pockets if deemed necessary.

“MSQ are co-ordinating all debris removal in the Brisbane navigation areas and further upstream,” the spokesperson said.

DCN understands the process continued over the weekend, enabling the harbour master to schedule vessels anchorage to move into the pilotage areas and transit the port precincts.

It is understood that vessels are arriving at the port under a risk-based assessment by the harbour master.

The operational update indicated the movement of these vessels would occur under specific criteria communicated to waterside stakeholders.

On Sunday, a follow-up statement indicated the harbour master and port hydrographic survey and operations teams had reported further discovery of navigational area obstructions such as debris and shoaling.

“The RHM continues to assess opportunities to resume vessel movements, based on the criteria issued on Friday March 4,” the spokesperson said in a statement that day.

As such, restrictions remain in place, but the harbour master has noted any critical movements beyond those parameters will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.