A report has been prepared by the Department of Defence that responds to public submissions made regarding the removal of the Hammerhead Crane at Garden Island, Sydney.
The report outlines the range of public submissions received, Defence’s response to those issues, and further details and analysis on the options for the crane’s removal.
Of the eight options outlined in the report, the removal of the crane and the salvage of key heritage components for display is the lowest cost option by a factor of three, at $7.4 million. To leave the crane in its current place and therefore build a new wharf east of Garden Island would cost 17 times more than the preferred option, at $123.7 million.
“The Hammerhead Crane is more than 60 years old and hasn’t been used for the past 16 of those years. Even if we did pay to return it to the best condition it was ever in, it would still not deliver a third of the capability that our cranes now deliver,” Senator Feeney said.
“The reality is, it’s a crane that was built in 1951. In its peak, it was lifting 250 tonnes. By 1996 the rust was so bad that the crane was barely lifting 70 tonnes. Compare this to modern cranes that are lifting in excess of 800 tonnes and you can see just how unworkable it is to keep this crane in a working Navy base.
“It limits our Navy’s ability to use the wharf at Garden Island and adjacent berths, as well as adding a layer of complexity when maintaining and repairing ships. This is a problem that will only get worse with the arrival of our multi-billion dollar Landing Helicopter Docks.
“Every centimetre of compromise given to this crane takes away from our Navy’s ability to use Garden Island to its best possible advantage.
“It is a liability that costs over $700,000 just to keep it standing there safely. This is money that comes straight out of our Defence budget. Every year the crane stands, that’s $700,000 or more that our nation loses to real Defence capability. The absurdity of this is reflected by the fact that Defence received an unusually high percentage of submissions in favour of removing the crane,” he said.
The proposal to remove the crane is being assessed under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The decision on the crane’s removal will be made by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, after considering the report.
The report can be downloaded from www.gml.com.au/hammerhead-crane-public-exhibition or viewed at the following locations from 13 May – 7 June 2013 inclusive:
• Customs House Library, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, NSW
• The State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
• The library of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities at John Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, ACT.
Senator Feeney’s office: Jeffrey von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999