UNAUTHORISED Blockade Australia protests at the ports of Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle this week have caused little disruption to grain exports overall, but have caused considerable delays to some parts of the agricultural supply chain.
That includes interruptions to the delivery of cotton, grain and pulses to container terminals in Brisbane and Melbourne, and minor impacts on the outturn of imported fertiliser.
However, with the export of bulk sorghum out of Brisbane now well past its peak, and bulk grain shipments also slowing out of Newcastle and Melbourne, trade sources report BA activity has not delayed the loading of vessels.
BA protests have taken place at the Port of Brisbane since Monday, when Queensland Police were called to an incident on the corner of Export and Pritchard streets around 8am.
One woman was taken into custody at around 9.40am, and was charged following reports of a protest which caused major traffic delays in the area.
The second arrest occurred on Tuesday, when a man was charged following reports of a protest at which caused major traffic delays in the area.
“Police were called to the incident on the Port of Brisbane motorway near Export Street around 6.30am and the man was taken into custody just before 8am,” Queensland Police Service said in a statement.
Both the woman arrested on Monday and the man arrested on Tuesday were charged with counts of unregulated high-risk activities, trespass, commit public nuisance, pedestrians causing an obstruction, contravening direction, and using dangerous attachment device to interfere with transport infrastructure.
Two men and one woman on Wednesday used two vehicles to block a Port of Brisbane roadway at 3.30pm which caused major traffic delays before the obstruction was cleared shortly after 5.15pm.
In addition to abovementioned charges, Wednesday’s events saw the charges laid of endangering the safe use of vehicles and transport infrastructure, unlawful assembly, and obstructing police.
GrainCorp has bulk grain terminals in Brisbane and Newcastle, and has told Grain Central neither have been affected by the BA demonstrations.
The Port of Melbourne declined to comment on disruptions, but sources have told Grain Central that the passage of container trains carrying agricultural and other goods has been disrupted portside at Melbourne on Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday.
Victoria Police reports say a man was arrested on Tuesday at Webb Dock Drive in Port Melbourne and charged with public nuisance and obstructing an emergency service worker.
On Wednesday, a woman was arrested following a protest on Shepherds Bridge on Footscray Road, and was expected to be charged with public nuisance offences.
Yesterday, police were called to Sims Road at about 9am in regard to two protestors on the Maribyrnong bridge in West Footscray, where police arrested a woman who is expected to be charged with public nuisance and related offences.
Grain Central understands BA demonstrations in the Hunter Valley have targeted coal, and ARTC reports a number of coal trains and one freight train have been delayed this week.
About 7.15am on Monday, emergency services were called to a rail line on Wagtail Way, Kooragang, following reports a group had gathered at the location, including a woman who had suspended herself from a pole.
Police officers attended, and with assistance from Police Rescue, the woman was removed safely from the structure and arrested about 10.40am.
The woman was charged with causing obstruction to a railway locomotive and entering inclosed lands giving rise to serious risk to safety.
On Wednesday, a woman was charged following an unauthorised protest starting at about 8.30pm on Tuesday, when emergency services were called to Cormorant Road, Newcastle, following reports a woman had scaled a coal loader and glued herself to a railing.
Police officers attended, and with assistance from Police Rescue, the woman was removed safely from the structure and arrested about an hour later.
At about 3.50am on Wednesday, police were called to train tracks near Branxton Railway Station after reports a man had suspended himself over the railway tracks.
Police officers attended, and with assistance from Police Rescue, the man was removed safely from the structure and arrested about 9.35am and charges laid include obstructing a railway locomotive or rolling stock.
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