I know you like to play devils advocate on a lot of subjects, and quite often I agree with what you are saying..
1 in 6000 might not be a huge risk .
however a ship drifting around for 30 hours
is a very bad situation.
Imagine if it had hit and broken up . I don't care if its listed as world heritage or not we don't want tons of oil washing up on the beaches / reefs ..
the further north something like this happens the longer it will take to respond too.. So if it happened of the end of palm island , you could have 100's or even 1000's of people on hand to clean up , but if this happens north of cooktown it could take days to even get a few 100 people on the ground ..
Having the pacific responder based in cairns is a good start but as the shipping movements increase the risk increase. And they are increasing , some-days it feels like your stuck in traffic just trying to cross the shipping lane to get out to the reef ..
the anchor would not be powered by the main engine , a ship that size would have auxiliary engines for lights / hydraulics ect ..so it remains unclear as to what the reasons were too not drop it ..
I'm not against development outright but if we are going to do all this exporting we need to ensure that our backyard is protected from every possible risk no matter how small it might seem at the time.
Murphy go's to sea as well