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HMAS Sydney "no conspiracy" says report.



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PRESS RELEASE

 

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

DEFENCE AND TRADE

 

UNDER EMBARGO

UNTIL REPORT IS TABLED

 

22 March 1999

 

 

HMAS SYDNEY

 

“NO CONSPIRACY” SAYS REPORT

 

 

The Chairman of the JSCFADT, Senator David MacGibbon, today tabled the Committee’s report into the loss of HMAS Sydney in November 1941 off the coast of Western Australia with the loss of all 645 men on board.

 

The debate over the fate of Sydney has continued over the years, and unfortunately there has been a great deal of speculation and theorising, with many alternative accounts of the events of November 1941, including that the ship was in fact sunk by a Japanese submarine’ said Senator MacGibbon. The Committee has largely confirmed the commonly held account, and has found no convincing evidence of third party involvement or a conspiracy on the part of the RAN, the Admiralty or the Australian Government, then and now, to keep the story from the Australian public.’

 

‘Interest in the loss of this proud fighting ship has grown over the years rather than diminished. The Committee received submissions from over 200 groups and individuals and held hearings in Canberra and four state capitals.’

 

The inquiry examined the circumstances of the sinking, and has made in total 18 recommendations including:

 

·  That the Australian Government review the operations of the Archives Act 1983 in regard to World War II material, to provide full public access to all material;

·  That attempts be made to locate the grave of the unknown sailor on Christmas Island, and that if accurately located, that the remains be exhumed with a view to attempting to identify the person;

·  That a search be undertaken to locate the final resting place of Sydney, following some further work in defining the search area. The Commonwealth Government should match public donations to the HMAS Sydney Foundation Trust for this purpose on a dollar for dollar basis, up to a total of $2 million;

·  The establishment of a research grant scheme in the name of HMAS Sydney, and the construction of a memorial in Fremantle.

 

The Chairman will be holding a press conference:

 

PRESS CONFERENCE

5.30 PM MONDAY 22 MARCH 1999

COMMITTEE ROOM 2R1

 

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

 

Senator David MacGibbon: 02 62773720

 

Joanne Towner, Secretary: JSCFADT 02 6277 4629

 

 

 

JS