At December's Bayside Council meeting, Council unanimously agreed to the undertaking of a feasibility study into moving the Cerberus guns and turrets to HMAS Cerberus at Crib Point. John Rogers & Graeme Disney spoke for three minutes each. Questions were asked by three of the Councillors. The Deputy Mayor and three other Councillors spoke in favour of the motion with one Councillor stating that, although he had concerns about Council's liability issues, he would nevertheless vote for the motion. When the vote was taken all six Councillors present (the Mayor being absent from the meeting) voted in favour of the motion.
Not surprisingly Friends of the Cerberus and the members of HMAS Cerberus present, were very pleased with the outcome. We are naturally very appreciative of the time Councillors took to familiarise themselves with the issue, their concern for our heritage and their principled stance in not seeing the National Heritage Investment Initiative grant as a pot of money to be grabbed for their own purposes. Councillors clearly recognised that Cerberus was an important heritage asset to be saved from destruction. We were impressed with the respect and trust with which our efforts, statements and request were treated.
We also appreciate the support for the feasibility study given by Heritage Victoria and the assistance provided by the office of the Federal Minister responsible for Heritage, Greg Hunt. We would again like to express our gratitude to the National Trust for holding the NHII grant on our behalf. They, like us, clearly care about Victoria's naval heritage. Part of the reason that Councillors were so well informed on the issue was through the endeavours of committee and general members and supporters who spoke with and emailed Councillors to explain the advantages of our joint proposal with HMAS Cerberus. Finally, without the support of our partners, HMAS Cerberus, there would be no solution to investigate and there would be no alternative to filling Cerberus with sand, thereby wasting a golden opportunity and at the same time, destroying the ship.