Chinese ship owners to pay $30 million for Great Barrier Reef damage


CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian government reached a 39.3 million Australian dollar ($29.6 million) settlement with the owners of a Chinese coal carrier to pay for environmental damage caused when the ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef six year ago, the environment minister said Monday.

The government had sued Shenzhen Energy Transport for at least AU$120 million in Australian Federal Court after the fully laden ship Shen Neng 1 went off course in April 2010 and grounded on Douglas Shoal, 100km east of the town of Rockhampton, among the chain of World Heritage-listed coral reefs.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said Shenzhen Energy Transport has agreed to the out-of-court-settlement after refusing to accept responsibility for restitution for more than six years.