The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) supports the Aurora Australis Foundation’s plan to save the ship which has supported our Australian Antarctic Expeditions for more than 30 years. The foundation has a strong plan to preserve the ship as a museum and tourist attraction and we believe it could be re-purposed and be all of these things. An emergency response vessel, training vessel and Museum.
MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said seafarers were keen to see the vessel saved.
“We believe that the Aurora Australis should have a new life as an emergency response vessel, a training vessel and as a museum to showcase its amazing history,” Mr Bray said.
“As an emergency response vessel Aurora Australis would give Australia additional capability to respond to unforeseen events in our region”
Its features include:
- A functional hospital
- A radio room that could restore communication temporarily
- A helicopter Pad and refuelling station
- Accommodation for 109 persons over and above crew numbers
- Water making capability
- Storage capacity for emergency equipment, clothes or non-perishable food
- Ability to transport and transfer over 1 million litres of fuel
Tasmanian Branch Secretary Jason Campbell said “If kept operational, Aurora Australis could be used by the Australian Maritime College as a training vessel and as a training platform for the commercial diving industry.
“We have an opportunity here to preserve a part of our maritime heritage as an operational sea-going vessel as well as a museum.”
“Aurora Australis is a vessel of national significance which has served our national well and deserves its place in our maritime history.”
“We believe the best way to protect the Aurora Australis is to utilise the ship’s operational capabilities as well as celebrating its heritage value.”
Mr Bray said instead of selling or scrapping the vessel it should become an operational museum, to be used in an operational role when required but serve as a tourist attraction when in port.
“This ship has performed vital work for our country on its many voyages to and from Antarctica and should now be repurposed.”