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Aussie Ports To Close As Precaution

November 25, 1999

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Two of Australia’s commercial ports will close during the New Year period because of fears about problems caused by the Year 2000 computer bug, authorities said Thursday.

The closures are planned because harbormasters could not be sure that ships trying to enter the ports won’t be affected by computer problems.

The government of Victoria state has ordered that all shipping facilities in its four major ports stop from an hour before midnight on New Year’s Eve until at least dawn on the first day of 2000.

Even then, ships will have to prove they have met Y2K compliance standards set by the International Maritime Organization before being allowed into port.

Ports in Queensland state will also close, from New Year’s Eve until dawn on Jan. 2, to avoid any problems with ships that are not Y2K-compliant, said Tony Slocombe, operations executive at the Port of Brisbane, the state’s capital.

Ports in some other capitals are closed for the New Year’s holiday.

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