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TASPORTS is suing CSL Australia in the Federal Court over the January 28 allision in which the CSL-owned cement carrier Goliath allided with tugs York Cove and Campbell Cove, which consequently sank in the Mersey River at Devonport.

The incident has also caused damage to the wharf and TasPorts said it continues to cause significant disruption to port users.

A complicated clean-up operation, including wreck removal, is ongoing.

TasPorts said it commenced proceedings in the Federal Court to guard against the possibility of proceedings being commenced in a less suitable jurisdiction.

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said TasPorts would attempt to reach an acceptable settlement with CSL in the short to medium-term.

“It is not TasPorts’ intention to progress the proceedings unless and until it becomes necessary to do so, but we believe that the commencement of proceedings is a prudent step to take to protect our rights,” he said.

“At this time, completion of the clean-up operation remains TasPorts’ focus. And we are continuing to do everything we possibly can to minimise disruption to port users and other stakeholders.”

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In a statement, CSL said it had been “completely transparent” with authorities and co-operated with investigations conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The company also supported the Environmental Protection Authority and other authorities during the clean-up operation.

“CSL’s own internal investigation findings will be shared with TasPorts, AMSA and the ATSB,” the company said.

“As a company committed to the Australian shipping industry, with Australian ships and Australian crews, we sincerely regret that the incident occurred. The safety of crew members and the community, and the protection of the environment remain our top priorities.”

Earlier this month, the ATSB released a preliminary report, which lays out in great detail the events leading up to the incident. However, as is the case with preliminary reports from the ATSB, it does not make any conclusions about causes or contributing factors.

This story has been updated to include comment from CSL and clarify the nature of the ATSB’s preliminary report.

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