North Queensland’s Ports Returning to Full Ops After Cyclone Debbie

A week after weathering the impact of severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, North Queensland’s ports of Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point have started returning to full operations, the state government informed.

Following the passing of the cyclone, there has been damage from debris and flooding in the ports.

The Port of Mackay reopened for shipping over the weekend, with the first fuel vessel after the cyclone arriving at the harbor on Sunday, according to Mark Bailey, Queensland’s Ports Minister.

“The Port of Mackay is now fully operational, meaning this critical asset is open for business – from fuel imports to agricultural exports,” Bailey said.

The southern breakwater also reopened soon after the cyclone passed.

“The recently upgraded breakwater stood up very well to the impacts of the cyclone,” Julieanne Gilbert, Member for Mackay, noted.

Furthermore, the Port of Abbot Point has been cleared for shipping and vessels have returned to anchorages.

The port’s owner and operator Adani will make the decision about when the terminal itself can resume operations, according to a statement issued by the press office of the Ports Minister.

At the third port, the Port of Hay Point, surveys are continuing to check for siltation in shipping channels and berth pockets. It is expected that limited shipping drawing on existing coal stockpiles at the terminals will resume within days using approved, safe channels and berths.

“Marine Safety Queensland has previously given the ‘okay’ to vessels off the Ports of Hay Point and Abbot Point to return to anchorage from the outer reef,” Bailey said.

“However, comprehensive seabed surveys need to be completed and the Regional Harbour Masters give the all clear before vessels will be permitted to return to all areas of the navigational channels, berth pockets and wharves at the Port of Hay Point,” he added.