Port of Brisbane closure may see cargo diversion

Melbourne and Sydney could see extra throughput as ships bypass Fisherman Islands

By Ruza Zivkusic | January 12, 2011

Sydney and Melbourne ports could see an increase to cargo traffic following today’s closure of the Port of Brisbane due to Queensland’s floods.

The Fisherman Islands port was closed to all shipping since this morning and is likely to remain shut tomorrow, port spokeswoman Karen Weatherburn says.

Ships have been removed from the port due to debris, boats and pontoons floating down the Brisbane River.

Road access to the port is open and is expected to remain passable during the flood.

Shipping Australia Limited Chief Executive Officer Llew Russell says the closure will have an impact on shipping and believes many will divert to either Sydney or Melbourne.

"They’re aware of the situation and, depending on how long the closure goes, they will take appropriate action bypassing Brisbane for the time being," Russell says.

Ports Australia Chief Executive David Anderson believes the transport infrastructure damaged by the floods will affect the supply chain for quite some time.

"It will have a huge impact on the community and the infrastructure level," Anderson says.

"We have to do what we can to address both of those impacts and we would be expecting a fair bit of government assistance to get transport infrastructure up and running as it’s important for our overseas markets and our reliability as a supplier."

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