The Pacific Adventurer on its way home after being repaired in Brisbane.
The Pacific Adventurer on its way home after being repaired in Brisbane. Nicholas Falconer

Swire Shipping promises to pay more

THE shipping company behind one of Australia’s worst environmental disasters has offered to pay more compensation than is legally required.

On March 11, the Pacific Adventurer cargo ship lost 31 containers overboard in rough seas caused by Cyclone Hamish.

Some of the containers holed the vessel, spilling 270,000 litres of fuel oil onto southeast Queensland beaches and triggering a massive clean-up.

Bill Rothery, chairman of ship owners John Swire and Sons, told reporters he had put an offer on the table during talks with Queensland Premier Anna Bligh in Brisbane on Wednesday.

“We have put a proposal to the State Government - it’s a substantial offer which will exceed the $14.5 million in legal responsibilities that we have at this stage,” Mr Rothery said.

The offer includes compensation for small businesses affected by the spill.

Valid claims would be paid in full, Mr Rothery said.

The cost of the clean-up to the State Government and local councils has been estimated at $34 million.

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