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    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Abandoned Banks makes withdrawal from Whitsundays

    Minister for Transport and Main Roads
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

    Friday, July 13, 2018

    Abandoned Banks makes withdrawal from Whitsundays

    The tide is high and a derelict ship stranded on pristine Whitsunday Island is finally moving.

    Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the 30 metre steel-hull ship MV Banks had been stranded on the shoreline near Cid Harbour since being washed up by Cyclone Debbie last year. 

    “Thanks to a combination of high winter tides and an expert refloating operation by local contractors, this blight on our coastline is now destined for the scrap heap,” Mr Bailey said.

    “Airlie Beach contractor Coral Coast Oceaneering connected a line to the ship on Thursday night’s high tide to test its buoyancy in preparation for a tug to tow the wreck into deeper water.

    “The MV Banks will remain anchored over the weekend while checks are made for any leaks or pollution hazards before it is towed to Townsville to be cut up.”

    Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Leeanne Enoch said the success of the operation was a good sign for the recently announced Palaszczuk Government campaign to clean up wrecked and unseaworthy vessels.

    “Derelict and abandoned vessels will be the target of an unprecedented clean-up to protect Queensland’s unique coastal environment thanks to a massive $20 million state budget injection,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Maritime Safety Queensland identifies and addresses neglected vessels and currently has a priority list of about 80 vessels of concern on its register.

    “This funding will allow them to prioritise and remove wrecks that pose the most serious navigational and environmental hazards.”

    Mr Bailey said owners were responsible for the costs associated with the maintenance or removal of their vessels.

    “Where owners fail to meet their responsibilities, the state has powers to appoint contractors to remove and dispose of unclaimed vessels,” Mr Bailey said.

    “Make no mistake, every effort will be made through the courts to recover disposal costs incurred by the state from reluctant owners.

    “Under our pollution legislation, Maritime Safety Queensland has spent about $60,000 removing pollutants from the MV Banks.

    “This salvage operation will cost a further $365,000 and the Queensland Government is considering its options for the recovery of those costs from the ship’s owner.”



    Media contact:  Carmel Robertson 0439 347 875