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New ship for Australia/New Guinea trade

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Statement by the Minister for Shipping and Transport, The Hon. Hubert Opperman, M.P.

It was announced today by the Minister for Shipping and

Transport, Mr. Hubert Opperman, that a contract has been

placed with the State Dockyard, Newcastle, for the building

of a new vessel for trading between Australia - New Guinea

and Islands nearby. The new ship is to be built for Burns

Philp & Co. Ltd., to replace the M.V. MALAITA which was built

in 1933 and which is now nearing the end of its economically

useful life.

The ship will be 300 ft. long, 50 ft. in breadth,

28 ft. 6 inches in depth and will carry about 3.600 tons of

cargo on a draft of 19 ft. 7i inches. A crew numbering 41

will be carried.

Other features of the new ship include the provision of

refrigerated space in five separate compartments, for about

90 tons of refrigerated cargo, totalling nearly 9,000 cubic

feet in volume, and air conditioning of all accommodation.

Mr. Opperman said that the requirements of the trade,

mainly from Sydney and Brisbane, and the absence of proper

facilities at many of the ports of call, mean that the

New Guinea vessel will be required to perform many tasks not

usually associated with a cargo ship and this is reflected in

the equipment to be provided on board.

This new vessel, said Mr. Opperman, being built at a

cost of about £1,400,000 and having a service speed of

13 knots, will be a valuable addition to the Australian

merchant fleet and will be of particular importance in

facilitating the expansion of trade between Australia and

New Guinea and the nearby Pacific Islands*

Ca n b e r r a

July 19. 1983