Port to remain closed
THE Port of Bundaberg is to remain closed as the Burnett River continues to flood – with more water on the way.
At least one ship sent to the port to load sugar is waiting out at sea to enter the Burnett River and more ships are believed to be en route.
The safety of the port was assessed last week and over the weekend, with sonar scans looking at the state of the riverbed and the extent of siltation.
The scans looked for obstacles in the river, such as sunken vessels, after the devastating Christmas floods that hit Bundaberg, as well as the level of siltation.
A spokesman for the Gladstone Ports Corporation said the hydrographic survey of the port and entrance channel had been completed.
He said the survey showed significant siltation had occurred throughout the port.
“All the navigation aids in the inner port area have been destroyed,” he said.
“Replacement aids are now being sourced.”
The spokesman said the corporation was working on a plan to reopen the port.
However, the Burnett River remained in flood with significant quantities of floodwaters continuing to pass through the port.
The spokesman said once the river returned to normal levels, the siltation of the port would be reassessed by further hydrographic surveys, before a decision could be made on the way ahead.
He said the Port of Bundaberg would remain closed to shipping until further notice.
Port of Bundaberg manager Jason Pascoe said on Monday that once all the reports had been received, the regional harbourmaster would consider all the data and decide when it was safe for ships to enter the river.