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Wharfies unload Chinese ship after stand-off over coronavirus fears

A cargo ship from China carrying medical supplies, toilet paper and tinned food is now being unloaded at the Port of Melbourne, following a dispute over coronavirus fears between the maritime union and stevedores DP World.

About 90 wharfies were stood down this week after they refused to unload the Xin Da Lian, which arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday after a 12-day voyage from a port in Taiwan.

Wharfies have begun unloading shipping containers from the Xin Da Lian.

Wharfies have begun unloading shipping containers from the Xin Da Lian.Credit:Jason South

The length of the Xin Da Lian’s journey from the port of Kaohsiung meant there was not enough time for a two-week coronavirus quarantine period to be completed so when the ship tied up at Swanson Dock on Tuesday, wharfies refused to take off the cargo.

By Wednesday evening, with the 14-day period over, dock workers agreed to start unloading the more than 2000 shipping containers onboard the ship.

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