The Commonwealth Government has launched a court bid to recover damages from a ship which ran aground and leaked oil on the Great Barrier Reef.
Chinese ship Shen Neng One ran aground on Douglas Shoal off the central Queensland coast on April 3, 2010, after veering more than 10 kilometres outside the shipping lane.
The grounding damaged one of the ship's fuel tanks, resulting in a four-kilometre-long slick of heavy fuel oil and toxic antifouling paint embedded in the sea floor.
The ship also carved a three-kilometre-long, 400,000-square-metre scar in and around Douglas Shoal, about 120 kilometres east of Rockhanmpton, which was the largest known damage to the Great Barrier Reef caused by a ship.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority told a Senate estimates hearing earlier this week that it cannot afford to repair the damage.
In a statement released today, the authority said it was disappointed long negotiations with the ship's owners had so far failed to recover compensation.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt said the Commonwealth would seek damages from the ship's owner for the cost of remediation of the shoal or orders requiring remediation of the shoal by the ship's owner.
The trial is set down in the Federal Court for 15 days in April next year, in Brisbane.