Operations at the Australian small seaport of Eden have been impacted by the major bush fires raging across the South Coast region of New South Wales.
In fact, the Port of Eden is the southernmost deep-water harbor in NSW and is situated equidistant between Sydney and Melbourne. The port hosts three wharves including a privately owned woodchip terminal; multi-user Navy wharfs; as well as the breakwater wharf.
The major users of the port are the Royal Australian Navy, woodchippers, cargo ships for logs and cruise ships.
It is reported that two passenger ships scheduled to call at the port the past week canceled their visits in an effort to minimize the risk to their passengers’ safety.
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Based on updates, woodchip stockpiles at the woodchip mill in Eden together with the logs for export are reported to be on fire.
What is more, the Port Botany had to be shut down due to fires and smokes in the beginning of December, as temperatures were expected to reach up to 40°C.
Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE), a wood products export marketing and logistics company, noted that, in the early hours of Sunday the 5th January, it has suffered considerable fire damage to its wood chip export facility located at Two-Fold Bay in Eden.
Yet, ANWE said that
The full extent of the damage to the stock and equipment will be assessed once the fire threat has eased and plans are being put in place for temporary and permanent resumption of operations.
What is more, the Royal Australian Navy has been busy with response efforts to the affected areas in Australia, helping evacuate thousands of residents to safety. Namely, the Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship, Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide has joined HMAS Choules and MV Sycamorein support of Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19-20.
It was said that an Australian Navy task group departed from their Fleet Base East homeport early on New Year’s Day, in order to support multi-agency efforts to provide assistance to communities affected by bushfires on the Australian east coast.
The task force consisted of the Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules and the multi-role aviation training vessel MV Sycamore. It also includes an MRH-90 Taipan Maritime Support Helicopter from 808 Squadron and a specialised Aero Medical Evacuation (AME) capability from the Maritime Operational Health Unit.
Adding to this, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said its ability to get approved certificates and permissions may be impacted, as the Australia Post outlets remain closed in multiple smoke and fire affected areas of Australia.