A shipowner and a master are facing trial after being accused of discharging around 90 tonnes of oil from a bulk carrier into Queensland waters in July 2015.
Globex Shipping and the master, Kuk Hyun Jang, were charged with two offences under the Protection of the Sea Act in 2017.
The parties each face fines of up to AUD 17 million under Commonwealth law, according to local media reports.
Data provided by Supreme Court of Queensland indicated that the oil was allegedly spilled into the exclusive economic zone and outer territorial sea off the coast of Queensland from the bulker Regina, which has since been renamed and sold. The incident reportedly occurred while the ship was sailing from Singapore to New Zealand in mid-July 2015.
Subsequently, the oil floated into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park before washing up on north Queensland shores later that month.
Pre-trial proceedings were scheduled to begin in the Townsville Magistrates Court, however, Globex Shipping’s lawyers argued they had not been effectively served with summons to appear.
The company did not appear in Court and believed the Magistrate had no power to examine witnesses. Not agreeing with this, Townsville Magistrate, Ross Mack, ordered Globex Shipping to come to court.
In the Supreme Court in 2018, the company successfully appealed the decision that was overturned in the Court of Appeal on August 27, 2019.