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Brisbane port gradually reopening for shipping

Brisbane port gradually reopening for shipping

Brisbane: The flood-affected port of Brisbane is gradually reopening for shipping from today as the channel and berth pockets are surveyed and cleared, the local authority said. The Australian port was closed to all shipping activities since midnight Wednesday last week due to the dangers of severe flooding and debris obstructions. The Brisbane port authority is "confident" that shipping could be allowed in the upriver areas from Tuesday, it said in a statement. "Ship movements are being prioritised for tomorrow morning, and are subject to conditions determined by the harbour master," the authority advised. A dredging fleet has been successful in removing major obstructions from the main channel and Fisherman Island precinct, as the hydrographic surveying teams are continuing to locate sunken debris throughput the port. "The channel depths may be temporarily reduced, and ships restricted to tidal movements in the coming weeks, as debris and silt continues to travel downstream. These restrictions are not expected to prevent entry of any vessels on our forward schedule for the coming weeks," the authority said. The Maritime Safety Queensland is co-ordinating the collection of floating and stranded debris from the Brisbane River. A large amount of debris has been captured, and is being retrieved from the river and port areas. [17/01/11]

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