A GPC spokeswoman said it was in continuous liaison with state and federal agencies, including chief medical officers and Australian Border Force.
A GPC spokeswoman said it was in continuous liaison with state and federal agencies, including chief medical officers and Australian Border Force.

Gladstone Port's safety priority amid pandemic threat

Biosecurity, staff safety and the safety of the wider community continue to be top priorities for the Gladstone Ports Corporation following the Federal Government's ­implementation of the Coronavirus Emergency Response Plan.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the plan on Thursday as the number of people infected outside of China grew larger than those inside its borders.

"We believe that the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and, as a result, as a government, we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic," he said.

"We've also asked the ­Commissioner of Border Force to be reporting to us as quickly as possible on additional measures that would be required at our various ports of entry."

A GPC spokeswoman said it was in continuous liaison with state and federal agencies, including chief medical officers and Australian Border Force.

"GPC continues to operate under the direction of Maritime Safety Queensland direction, which states that ships must not enter a Queensland pilotage area until 14 days have elapsed since the ship's departure from mainland China," she said.

"These precautionary measures are consistent with Queensland Health's posture on the need to minimise risk across the state."

GPC reported no reduction in the number of vessels entering or departing the Port of Gladstone as a result of the measures.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the emergency response plan involved moving to a preparation phase that involved strengthening medical supply chains.

"We're working on the ­national inventories, the national medical stockpile," he said.

Mr Hunt met with state and territory health ministers at a special COAG meeting yesterday.

He tweeted his thanks for their work in preparing for the spread of the virus.

"The state and territory preparation was already ahead of our best expectations," he said.