LANDSIDE users of the Port of Melbourne have been warned to expect a new round of disruptions as the arrival of a ZIM containership attracts the attention of protesters.

Container Transport Alliance Australia’s Neil Chambers said this morning Port of Melbourne Operations had been in contact to advise the 5300 TEU ZIM vessel Sparrow is due at VICT, Webb Dock early tomorrow morning [11 April].

Port of Melbourne is again working with Victoria Police to prepare for possible protest activity, as has occurred with the recent visit of Ganges in Melbourne and Port Botany (23-25 March). At the latter 19 people were arrested, including MUA branch secretary Paul Keating.

Previous protests by pro-Palestinian groups, including Trade Unionists for Palestine, saw blockades of VICT and the River Yarra and ugly confrontations with authorities.

ZIM has recently deleted the ZIM part of the names of the vessels Ganges, Danube and Sparrow, in an apparent effort to fool protesters but with evident limited effect. The three ships are ZIM’s contribution to its VSA with MSC in the China-Australia trade, known by ZIM as the ZAX service and by MSC as Panda.

Mr Chambers said CTAA was also anticipating activity in relation to the A15 Economic Blockade to Free Palestine campaign which is designed to disrupt global supply chains and cause economic harm and scheduled for 15 April worldwide.  

Necessary steps are being taken given the short time between these two events, including additional security resources and increased security patrols for the duration of the visit by Sparrow and the A15 campaign, Mr Chambers said.