The Mercury

Company to pay for coral reef damage


CANBERRA: The Australian government reached a AU$39.3 million (R417 million) settlement with the owners of a Chinese coal carrier to pay for damage caused when the ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef six years ago, the environmen­t minister said yesterday.

The government had sued Shenzhen Energy Transport for at least AU$120 million in the Australian Federal Court after the ship, Shen Neng1, went off-course in 2010 and grounded on Douglas Shoal, a World Heritage-listed coral reef.

Environmen­t Minister Josh Frydenberg said Shenzhen Energy Transport had agreed to the outof-court-settlement after six years.

The crash site was contaminat­ed with hundreds of kilograms of paint particles tainted with toxictribu­tyltin. It slows the growth of aquatic organisms on ship hulls. Shenzhen said in court that the reef was recovering, and its maritime insurer said the costs were unrealisti­c. – AP

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