Bird pooped Walkaway wind turbines turned away with no quarantine facility at Mid West Ports Authority
Bird poo–contaminated wind turbines from China have been turned away from Geraldton Port due to a biosecurity risk, fuelling concerns over a lack of quarantine facilities for big imports.
A vessel transporting large wind turbines was due to dock in Geraldton on Friday, September 8, but was rejected after it was found the shipment had been tainted with bird faeces while at sea.
The wind turbines were redirected to Fremantle to be washed at a quarantine facility and will be returned to replace the ageing Walkaway Wind Farm turbine blades.
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was concerning there was no quarantine facility at Geraldton Port ahead of major industry projects planned across the Mid West.
“The City of Greater Geraldton is home of the Walkaway Wind Farm and the surrounding areas soon to be part of the renewable energy revolution that is supposed to be coming our way, including the hydrogen hub out of Oakajee,” he said.
“Transport constraints and quarantine constraints are an issue when receiving parts from places like China.”
Mr Van Styn said all stakeholders involved needed to look at how they planned to transport large industry machinery and other equipment going forward, and utilising quarantine facilities would be ideal.
He said without a dedicated quarantine facility in the city, it raised questions for the future of the Oakajee hydrogen hub and other green hydrogen projects in the Mid West.
“We’re hoping that lessons can be learnt to more better facilitate the transport of international sea freight into our City,” he said.
“The capacity for the City’s resources to be able to wash, sterilise and get that approved was obviously short in coming forward.
“We would like to think that if we are to become that gateway for such projects, that we address these issues, as a State and as a city going forward.”
A Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry spokesperson confirmed the department was made aware of a bird faeces biosecurity contamination by the master of the vessel.
“Biosecurity officers have worked cooperatively with the vessel to manage the risks posed by the biosecurity risk material at the most appropriate port, which in this instance was the Port of Fremantle,” the spokesperson said.
“These wind turbines are in the process of being cleaned and will then be able to be transported to Geraldton.”
Mr Van Styn said the City had discussed exporting freight by air and sea but there was limited resourcing at a Federal level due to the smaller sized air and sea ports.
Mid West Ports Authority has been contacted for comment.
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