Panama City - A Panama-based company faces a fine of up to $17 million for allegedly spilling about 15 tonnes of oil near the Great Barrier Reef. It is alleged the oil came from the ship “Regina”, owned by company Globex Shipping. In court documents seen by the ABC, it is alleged the offence occurred at Pakhoi Bank, within a designated shipping lane in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Between 10 and 15 tonnes of oil washed up on beaches north of Townsville to Hinchinbrook Island and the Palm Island group in July 2015, requiring a clean up costing $1.5 million. The clean-up effort took two weeks — at least two sea birds died and a turtle had to be rehabilitated for six weeks. Globex Shipping will face the Townsville Magistrates Court in August charged with discharge of oil into the sea. The $17-million fine is the maximum penalty the company can face can face if found guilty under the Commonwealth legislation. World Wildlife Fund’s Richard Leck said ships with poor safety and maintenance records should be banned from the region. Globex Shipping’s legal representation Thynne and Macartney has not responded to the ABC’s request for comment.
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