Four ship-tracking radars at key sites along the Queensland coast are to be replaced in a $4 million upgrade.
Acting Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Ryan said the Maritime Safety Queensland project would provide greater reliability for Queensland’s maritime industry and a higher level of vigilance over shipping through the environmentally sensitive Moreton Bay Marine Park and the Torres Strait.
“There are over 5,600 ship movements a year through Moreton Bay to the Port of Brisbane and more than 3,200 ships travelling through Torres Strait to Australian or international destinations,” Mr Ryan said.
“These radars are also an asset to our Reef Vessel Traffic Service which is dedicated to protecting the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait region.
“The 24-hour ship monitoring system provides navigation information to vessels and lowers the risk of maritime incidents which could result in damage to the marine environment.”
Mr Ryan said Brisbane-based company, Australian Maritime Systems Group (AMSG) won the contract to upgrade radars at Torres Strait in the state’s far north and Moreton Bay in the south-east region.
Radars will also be replaced at Nudgee in Brisbane, Point Cartwright on the Sunshine Coast, Woorim on Bribie Island and Hammond Island in Torres Strait.
“The existing radars have reliably served the shipping industry for more than 10 years but are approaching the end of their operational life,” Mr Ryan said.
“The new radars are next-generation technology that will provide an unprecedented level of real-time information on shipping movements and navigation conditions.
“The Palaszczuk Government is paying for the first three sites as well as funding 40 per cent of the cost of the Torres Strait radar as part of an agreement with the Federal Government.”
Australian Maritime Systems Group CEO Richard Morton welcomed the announcement, saying protection of the Great Barrier Reef was of the utmost importance.
“We’re delighted the government has again entrusted a Queensland company to implement this important contract,” Mr Morton said.
“We have some of the most capable maritime technology specialists on board and we partner with best technology providers.”
The replacement program will roll out over coming months with completion expected mid-2019.
Acting Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Ryan