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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Page: 13458

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (Braddon) (16:16): Thank you Madam Deputy Speaker and colleagues and good afternoon. Last Saturday evening I had the great pleasure of joining the new Mayor of Devonport, Mr Steve Martin, and many other dignitaries to relaunch the wooden ketch Julie Burgess, which is the last in a long line of vessels owned by the Burgess family, a family held in high regard who once played a very large part in Victorian and Tasmanian maritime history.

The Julie Burgess is known far and wide in maritime circles. It is recorded as a vessel that should be preserved because of her history and role in Tasmanian and mainland waters. The 68-foot ketch was built from blue gum in 1936 by Mr Ned Jack of Launceston. The boat was engaged in the Bass Strait crayfishing industry since her launch, except for war service when she was used as a cable ship in Bass Strait at the outbreak of World War II.

After that time, and service doing lots of other things, the Julie Burgess went into disrepair and has been languishing ever since. In 2009 the Devonport City Council, under the first round of the Getting Communities Working and the Local Jobs streams of the Australian government's $650 million Jobs Fund, received approximately $1.87 million to refloat and refurbish the Julie Burgess. The beautiful, young-looking, 75-year old Julie Burgess hit the water and last Saturday, like most boats, looked even more magnificent in the water than when out of it.

I want to congratulate the Devonport City Council, and I particularly congratulate former Devonport Mayor Lynn Laycock for nagging me, this government and her own council to get the funding for this. I also congratulate Alderman Graham Kent, Peter Higgins of the Julie Burgess Trust Special Committee and the many others who have joined them to bring this project to fruition. I also acknowledge Margaret Griggs, who started with the project and is now the full-time project officer, along with the members and officers of DEEWR who have put this project together.

Not only have we refloated a magnificent ship but we have also given terrific skills to the people and the shipwrights who brought her back to her former splendour. We now look forward to working with the community to get her working as a tourist vessel. At the same time, the additional funds that are part of the project will be used to get the maritime information centre up so that, together with the Julie Burgess, they make Devonport again a most attractive port for tourism ventures and for the development of job skills.