In February this year, MV Solomon Trader ran aground on a reef in Lughu Bay, Solomon Islands, spilling over a hundred tonnes of oil into the waters off the coast of Rennell Island. A massive clean-up operation is still underway. The disaster raises numerous questions which will be explored by the panel members in three quite different contexts.

This session is presented by the UQ Solmon Islands Partnership and Marine and Shipping Law Unit.

View presentation slides from this session (PDF, 4.4 MB)

Panel members

Professor Craig Forrest is the Director of the Marine and Shipping Law Unit, University of Queensland; and teaches and undertakes research in the areas of maritime law, with a particular interest in maritime casualties, salvage and wreck. Craig is the general editor of the Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal.

Mr Stefan Armbruster is the Brisbane-based correspondent for SBS News and Current Affairs, reporting on Queensland and the Pacific. He was born in Germany, grew up in Australia, and worked for a decade in London for the BBC and other broadcasters. Since joining SBS in 2006, he has won a numerous national journalism awards for his coverage of Aboriginal & Torres Strait islander, multicultural and Pacific affairs.

Associate Professor Ian Tibbetts is a marine biologist with 15 years’ experience working with communities in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Until recently he was the Director of the Centre for Marine Science at The University of Queensland and now directs the International Programs Unit in the School of Biological Sciences. He chairs the Scientific Expert Panel advising the Queensland Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries on the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. He teaches the biology of marine resources and offers perspectives on the impact of this maritime disasters on subsistence communities.  

The session will be chaired by Professor Jennifer Corrin.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions both during the session and afterwards, when drinks and light refreshments will be available.

About MASLU events

The Marine & Shipping Law Unit (MASLU) is a community of scholars within the TC Beirne School of Law at The University of Queensland. We aim to achieve international recognition for scholarship, research and consultative skills in maritime law, international law of the sea, and related areas.


Level 3, Forgan Smith building
The University of Queensland
St Lucia campus
Sir Gerard Brennan Boardroom (W353)