We are breaking our self-imposed period of radio silence to provide this update specifically in response to queries received from our supporters.
What is the current situation with the monitor former HMVS/HMAS Cerberus (later HMAS Platypus II) in relation to Bayside Council's stated intention that they will contract a monolithic infill of the historic warship with 4,000 tonnes of concrete? In answer, the following is already available online incorporated into various news items, newsletters and social media posts and is re-stated here for your convenience.
Responsible authorities (Bayside Council, Heritage Victoria & Department of the Federal Minister responsible for Heritage) determined to support a proposal that will significantly hasten destruction of the aforementioned 1860s monitor whilst effectively ending any future possibility for significant research and/or preservation options relating to the vessel. Their 'covert' activities were 'set in concrete' (pun intended) during July of 2018 when Bayside Council was granted a permit by Heritage Victoria allowing it to execute the proposed work indicated above, thereby 'tearing up' the longstanding 'bible' of Australian heritage protection, the "Burra Charter".
As far as 'Friends' has been able to ascertain from its 'Bayside sources' none of the permit prerequisites stipulated by Heritage Victoria to be complied with prior to commencing the 'work' have been satisfied. In fact our advice indicates that Bayside has no intention of complying.
Friends of the Cerberus is under no illusion that an extension is likely to be sought by Bayside Council and granted by Heritage Victoria should their permit expire before the 'crime' is carried out, assuming it is felt by the protagonists that due process is still necessary.
Friends of the Cerberus and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) remain steadfast in joint opposition to the concrete option. A 'Friends' spokesperson has assured members and supporters that "together we will continue to vigorously oppose such heritage vandalism at every opportunity whilst promoting a viable preservation/restoration option for Cerberus."
Bayside and its 'minions' have been extremely secretive since 'charting this course' and have chosen to completely exclude all community stakeholders from even courtesy updates which has necessitated our use of speculation and enquiry based on limited information from a variety of sources.