13 December 2014
THE historic guns and turrets of the Cerberus would be moved to dry land in an attempt to save the sunken ship from collapsing – if the figures add up.
HMVS Cerberus is an iconic decommissioned ship that was positioned off Half Moon Bay as a breakwater, but it is now in danger of completely disintegrating.
The Friends of the Cerberus group, along with Bayside Council, have agreed to do a $40,000 feasibility study into removing the guns and turrets and taking them to HMAS Cerberus navy base at Crib Point. There they would be cleaned up for display, while the rest of the ship would remain in the water and safely sealed to stop people entering.
A Federal Government grant of $500,000 was given to the council in 2009 to manage it. The feasibility study would look at the cost of the work involved and whether it would be possible within the grant budget, which has now grown to about $550,000.
Another option is to fill the ship with sand, but there are fears that may adversely impact the vessel.
Friends of the Cerberus president John Rogers told a December 16 council meeting the most valuable parts of the ship should be removed, which could be done within the grant budget.
“Sand filling has no conservation value, actually it will destroy the ship.”
Historian Graeme Disney agreed, saying the sandfilled proposal was “ill-conceived and misguided”, and wouldn’t preserve the vessel. Cr Laurence Evans said the feasibility study was the way forward.
“There has always been debate about the Cerberus, its part of Bayside,” Cr Evans said.
“We have only had estimates so far of the cost of removing the guns and turrets and making the ship safe, we don’t know what the exact cost is.
“We need figures set down in stone, set in concrete.”
The council will report back in July next year.