Bail for Shen Neng 1 crewmen

Shen Neng 1 master Wang Jichang (right) leaves Gladstone Police Station with barrister Tony Glynn and defence solicitor Matthew Hockaday (left)
Shen Neng 1 master Wang Jichang (right) leaves Gladstone Police Station with barrister Tony Glynn and defence solicitor Matthew Hockaday (left)

TWO Chinese men charged with offences related to damaging the Great Barrier Reef have been granted bail.

Shen Neng 1 master Wang Jichang, 47, and chief officer-on-watch Wang Xuegang, 44, appeared in the Gladstone Magistrates court at 11am today before Magistrate Damian Carroll.

Commonwealth Crown Prosecutor Clive Porritt did not oppose bail for the defendants, but did ask conditions for Xue to be imposed.

Jichang is now allowed to return to his homeland on standard bail conditions, while his alleged partner-in-crime Xuegang must reside on the Shen Neng 1 until permanent bail conditions are reached at a later stage.

Mr Carroll read out the charges to both men and these were conveyed to the men via a Chinese interpreter.  

Jichang was charged with liability for a vessel which caused damage in the marine park and carries a maximum $55,000 fine for the offence.

The more serious charge has been leveled at Xuegang, charged with being the person in charge of a vessel which caused damage within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

This carries a three-year maximum jail penlty and a $220,000 fine.

Mr Carroll said before he granted bail he would have to be satisfied the conditions would be met.

“I don’t see it necessary in the circumstances to restrict him (Jichang) to Australia," Mr Carroll said.

In relation to Xuegang's bail conditions, Mr Carroll said he did have some concern the Shen Neng 1 may be moved, but Mr Porritt said authorites would be notified before any movement of the vessel took place.

"He is not allowed to leave the vessel without prior written permission by the Commonwealth DPP," Mr carroll said. 

Barrister Tony Glynn, instructed by Thynne and Macartney, told the court both men had been lifelong seamen and neither had prior convictions.

The matter will be heard at 2pm on June 9. Neither men are required to appear at the next mention.


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