Australian port operator commences court proceedings over collision that sank two tugs

TUG AND SALVAGE WEEK
Port of Devonport (Photo: TasPorts)

Australian port operator TasPorts has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against CSL Australia, the owners of the cement carrier Goliath that allided with two TasPorts tugs, leading to their sinking in the Mersey River in Devonport earlier this year.

TasPorts said the January 28, 2022 incident also caused damage to the wharf and continues to cause significant disruption to port users.

The company added that a “complicated” clean-up operation, including wreck removal, is now at an advanced stage.

Proceedings were commenced in the Federal Court at this early stage “to guard against the possibility of proceedings being commenced in a less suitable jurisdiction,” said 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,” said Mr Donald, “but we believe that the commencement of proceedings is a prudent step to take to protect our rights. At this time, completion of the clean-up operation remains TasPorts’ focus.

Mr Donald assured that the company is continuing to do “everything we possibly can” to minimise disruption to port users and other stakeholders.

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