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Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Page: 22039


Mr Bevis asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 15 September 2003:

(1) In respect of “Centenary of Federation Grant” detailed in the Department of Defence's Report for 2001-2002, when, and by whom, was the decision made to establish a Naval Memorial Park in Hastings, Victoria.

(2) When, and by whom, was the decision made to relocate the decommissioned submarine Otama from HMAS Stirling to the land-based display.

(3) In which federal electoral division is the Naval Memorial Park.

(4) What representations or correspondence did the then Minister for Defence engage in with respect to these matters at the time.

(5) Why was Hastings selected for the Park and what connection does Hastings have with the submarine fleet.

(6) What were the costs of establishing the Park and what was the amount of the federal grant.

(7) What were the costs of transporting the Otama from HMAS Stirling in Western Australia to Victoria and which department met those costs.

(8) What role, if any, did the former Minister for Defence play in these matters.


Mr Brough (Minister for Employment Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The date and person or persons, who decided to establish a Naval Memorial Park in Hastings, Victoria are not known. The Western Port Oberon Association developed a plan dated March 2001 for the Naval Memorial Park.

(2) October 2001. See part (8) below.

(3) Flinders.

(4) Prior to becoming Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Reith MP made three representations to then-Minister Moore on the matter. The representations are dated 14 April 1999, 25 February 2000 and 30 June 2000.

(5) An invitation to bid for the submarine was issued to the Greater City of Geelong and The Western Port Oberon Association (Hastings). Only Western Port Oberon Association submitted a bid to acquire the vessel and paid $55,000. The Association stated that the region of Hastings and nearby areas have a strong military history with particular links to submarines and submariners, with 3,500 retired naval service personnel in area.

(6) The Western Port Oberon Association's submission dated March 2001 indicates the Park would cost $2,344,180.00. The Centenary of Federation Grant was for $500,000.00.

(7) The Western Port Oberon Association's submission dated March 2001 indicates the estimated cost of towing ex HMAS Otama from HMAS Stirling to Victoria to be $250,000. The Western Port Oberon Association met the costs.

(8) See part (4) above. The then-Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Dr Brendan Nelson MP, approved the disposal of ex HMAS Otama, announced the sale to the Western Port Oberon Association, and announced the Centenary of Federation Grant.