Health officials are testing the crew of a Chinese coal ship crew after they refused to comply with coronavirus biosecurity inspections.
Health officials are testing the crew of a Chinese coal ship crew after they refused to comply with coronavirus biosecurity inspections. iStock

Coal ship crew tested after biosecurity standoff

UPDATE: HEALTH officials are testing the crew of a Chinese coal ship crew after they refused to comply with coronavirus biosecurity inspections.

"We are working alongside the captain of the ship to ensure that all requirements have been met, " a Queensland Health spokesperson said.

"As of this afternoon, tests are underway and none of the crew are displaying any obvious symptoms."

"Currently test results are pending."

Queensland Health would work with marine authorities to ensure safe port operations and the safety and wellbeing of staff, crew and the community, they said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities were monitoring a boat off Mackay after its captain refused to cooperate with Biosecurity officers. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities were monitoring a boat off Mackay after its captain refused to cooperate with Biosecurity officers. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

INITIAL 12.30PM: MARITIME authorities are monitoring a Chinese coal ship docked at Hay Point after the captain reportedly denied biosecurity officers to search some onboard areas.

The ship was docked at Hay Point Coal Terminal and was due to set sail Monday night.

However, the captain refused to allow biosecurity officers access to all parts of the vessel, leading the team to report the ship.

Read more:

Hospitality industry's future post-COVID-19

Mackay businessman steps down from development group

Paget businesses join forces to boost capacity

The ship was docked at Hay Point Coal Terminal and was due to set sail last night. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
The ship was docked at Hay Point Coal Terminal and was due to set sail last night. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities were monitoring the ship off Mackay.

"I understand now that the captain is co-operating with health authorities," Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

"There were some initial reports that there was some non-cooperation, but I've just been informed that there's now full co-operation.

"There is no evidence of anyone being sick."

The captain has granted biosecurity officers access to all areas.

The coal ship was still docked at the Hay Point services berth at noon.

The crew has been in isolation for 14 days offshore in line with health requirements.

Subscriber benefits:

How to make the most of your digital subscription

Daily puzzles and Sudoku another reason to stay subscribed

A Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment spokesman said they were not aware of the incident.

He said every vessel was assessed prior to arrival based on human health and biosecurity risks. 

"Decisions to attend commercial vessels are made in consultation with the relevant State Health department," he said. 

Queensland Health and North Queensland Bulk Ports has been contacted for comment.