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Navy calls conference on coastal charting

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Navy Publicdelations



λ. new five-year plan for the charting of Australia’s coastline and sea routes will be discussed at a meeting in Canberra next month.

The conference has been called by the Department of the 'Navy to consider priorities in the survey programme„ The meeting will be attended by all appropriate Commonwealth authorities, state government representatives and shipping interests„ -

The Minister .for the Navy, Senator Gorton, said today the first five-year charting programme of the Royal Australian Navy would end next year. It was now necessary to design a new programme on the basis of priorities brought about by the requirements of a

rapidly growing country. O

He said that to conduct a comprehensive modern survey of the entire Australian coastline would take twenty-five years. At 'the end of this time the task would still not be complete, because the cha"nging pattern of trade and shipping would demand new surveys.

Senator Gorton said that during the first five-year programme navy survey ships had concentrated on the most urgent charting tasks based on the volume of shipping in Australia’s sea lanes. The period had seen the number of Royal Australian Navy

survey vessels increased by four to a total ,of six. -

A highlight of the five-year programme had been the survey of the Shaul Banks, north west of Australia. This had made a contri butt lorn. of incalculable value to Australia and New Zealand in greatly reducing the sea route to India and the Middle East. It was the first time in the world that warships had combined with a survey ship to speed’the completion of an urgent survey project. By using three ships of the fleet to assist an R.A.N. Survey Vessel,

the task of surveying- eleven-thousand scpuare miles was completed in one season. ,

Since the Second World War, Royal Australian Navy hydrographers had compiled 95 new charts, put out 45 new editions reprinted 215 and issued more than 114-thousand copies of charts.

Canberra. 25th September, 1960.