Wharfie Shuttle Ban Forces Hutchinson Ship Diversion

Wharfie Shuttle Ban Forces Hutchinson Ship Diversion
MACHINERY at Hutchison’s Sydney International Container Terminal is still lying idle almost two weeks after a shuttle carrier collision critically injured a worker there.

Wharfies have been refusing to operate the shuttle carriers, citing safety issues, leaving 21 containers “stuck” on the wharf, it is understood.

Two ships that were scheduled to call at SICTL have been diverted to Patrick’s Port Botany terminal: the ANL Le Havre is due to arrive in the early morning on 3 May and the ANL Elanora is scheduled to arrive later in the morning.

A spokesperson for Hutchison Ports Australia told DCN the company holds the safety of its entire workforce as paramount and understands that when accidents happen, it is likely there will be “heightened emotions”.

“On 19 April, a highly valued member of the HPA team was injured in an accident and our immediate thoughts have been with the injured worker and doing all we can for her and her family, which we continue to do,” the spokesperson said.

“We have been mindful of individual employees who have been impacted by this situation and have been working closely with them and the workplace counsellors since the accident. If a worker cannot perform duties for reasons of health, we are very understanding of this as a company.”

The spokesperson said while investigations remain ongoing, SafeWork NSW had written the company and the CFMMEU to state that there is no “imminent risk” at the site, and no prohibition orders had been issued by the regulator SafeWork NSW.

“Based on this, there are no reasons why work should not resume some two weeks after the very unfortunate accident,” the spokesperson said.

“Now, with vessels ready to be serviced under our contracted obligations, HPA must resume operations.”

It is understood that SafeWork NSW has issued improvement notices which the company had complied with, these orders did not restrict operation of the port shuttles.

Also, it is understood that 17 import containers in the landside delivery stack that are unaffected by the issue, in addition to the 21 “stuck” on the wharf.

SafeWork NSW confirmed investigations are ongoing, but a spokesperson declined to comment further.

There is a matter between HPA and the CFMMEU before the Fair Work Commission, with a hearing scheduled for 3 May in Sydney.