Minimising the impact of COVID - 19 on Geraldton Port

Published: Thursday, 19 March 2020 at 1:20:39 PM

During the past few days extensive steps have been taken around the world, including Australia, to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.  These steps are having impacts on every company in Australia and every vessel entering Australian waters.

Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA) are having regular discussions with public health authorities, both local and national, to allow informed and risk assessed decisions to be made.

Since the end of January, MWPA has implemented protocols to reduce the exposure of COVID-19 to our staff, stakeholders and the community.  Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet daily to discuss this fluid situation, constantly assessing its impacts and determining new or elevated protocols as the need arises.

The leading priority for MWPA is the health and safety of all our people, however we are also trying to limit the impact of COVID-19 on port operations and subsequently the thousands of individuals in our community who rely on our port to remain open.

It is important that we continue to operate as a port for as long as possible without putting our community at risk.  Thousands of our locals rely on our organisation, either directly or indirectly, to literally put food on their table or cash through their business.

To assist in the port remaining operational, over time as an organisation MWPA will introduce elevating levels of social distancing measures to limit the risk of exposure, infection and aid in flattening the curve. 

Operations at Mid West Ports Authority are vital to the Mid West economy.  We are very proud of that fact.  We work hard to provide a safe and efficient service, not just in good times, but also in uncertain times like now.  Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of COVID-19 in our community. 

We trust that you will not hesitate to turn to us with any questions, doubts or concerns.  As relevant news comes to hand, we will continue to keep you informed.

Previously communicated information:

All ships entering our port, including cruise ships;

  1. Have their passengers and crew screened by our Marine Team, regardless of if they have been screened by another port or company;
  2. Are to have no crew or passengers to have travelled to international ports in the 14 days prior (COVID-19 incubation period) to the ships arrival to Geraldton;
  3. Are required to complete and submit a Health Report by the ships master which is assessed by Biosecurity prior to accepting their request to berth in Geraldton; and
  4. Our pilots will only board a ship once the all clear is given by our Marine Team. Once on board, if our Pilots detect any health concerns they have authority to return the ship to anchor for further investigation.  Emergency procedures in place are implemented immediately to reduce exposure of any illness to our Pilots, and immediate notification to State Government will occur.  To date this has not occurred.

MWPA;

  1. Practices and protocols have been implemented by ports nationally, meaning we are leading the way in our safety approach;
  2. Has a representative on a Canberra led weekly teleconference with federal and state departments, meaning we have an understanding of progress at a national level;
  3. Internal Coronavirus Response Team meets daily to discuss ship arrival statuses, current situation and impacts on the organisation; and
  4. Will continue to ensure we are a part of the COVID-19 response conversation to be in a position to take appropriate measure as they are identified.

Further information
• Health information is available at www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/coronavirus
• Coronavirus information hotline – 1800 020 080
• The Western Australia Government has a new page which includes official information regarding COVID-19 in WA - www.wa.gov.au/covid19
• Smartraveller – information regarding travel advice for Australians - www.smartraveller.gov.au

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