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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12352


Ms McBRIDE (Dobell) (16:35): On Saturday, I was privileged to join the annual memorial service for merchant mariners lost in time of war at the merchant navy memorial at Norah Head on the Central Coast. Today's Australians are gradually learning about the vital role performed by merchant mariners during time of war, and the Central Coast has a special significance in the defence history of Australia. The sinking of the MV Nimbin some 12 kilometres off Norah Head on 5 December 1940, and the lifeboat arrival of 25 survivors from the ill-fated Iron Chieftain on the beach at North Entrance on the morning of 5 June 1942, wrote the coast into Australian history.

The MV Nimbin and the SS Iron Chieftain were two of the 54 merchant ships attacked in Australian waters during World War II, of which 38 were sunk. About 14,000 Australian merchant mariners served during World War II. The need for wartime secrecy prevented the publication of the names and locations of shipping casualties.

I would like to acknowledge a number of community groups and individuals who participated in the service: the Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve Trust, represented by Neil Rose; Father Peter Middleton of the Mission to Seafarers; Marine Rescue New South Wales; Rural Fire Service Wyong Operational Support; Dennis Outram of the MUA; the Mannering Park Sea Scouts; Soldiers Beach Surf Life Saving Club; Brackets and Jam; Toukley Pipes and Drums, and Pipe Major Duncan Lister; Aunty Bronwyn Chambers; Captain Iain Steverson; Bob Wilson and the Toukley RSL Sub Branch; Gorokan High School students Alexis and Chailend; our host, Yasmin Catley MP, member for Swansea; and MC David Harris MP, member for Wyong.