Federal Government Commits to Save Iconic Vessel

Dec 17, 2021 | Federal News

Joint Media Release – Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash and Senator Ben Small

17 December 2021


The Federal Government has committed $1 million to save Western Australia’s beloved tall ship Leeuwin from funding uncertainty with a grant announced in the Mid-Year Economic Forecast.

The Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation will receive the Community Development Grant from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

The grant will be used for an urgently required and compulsory refit for the Sail Training Ship Leeuwin II.

The ship is due to undergo an AMSA Special Survey and dry-docking (refit) in early 2022, with this being a particularly significant milestone for a vessel of 35 years service.

A number of significant capital upgrades are required to maintain the vessel’s AMSA license to operate.

The vessel still uses paper charts and traditional navigation. This is no longer permitted under AMSA regulations, making costly upgrades to the use of GPS and electronic navigation mandatory.

The Foundation was hit hard by COVID-19 and would not have been able to afford to undertake the required refit until the Federal Government came to the rescue.

Attorney-General and Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash said she was delighted that the Federal Government was able to come to the aid of such a worthwhile organization.

“The Leeuwin is an iconic Western Australian vessel and the Foundation does vital work that has helped tens of thousands of young people improve their prospects in life over its 35 years of operation,’’ she said.

“Its youth development programs are well known in our community and it also runs a variety of other programs including ones for people with intellectual, physical and sensory challenges,’’ she said.

“Their programs foster resilience and inspire self-confidence while building an understanding of team work in young people. Many people credit their training on the Leeuwin with changing their lives,’’ she said.

Senator for Western Australia Ben Small said he had made representations to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister when he learned the ship may be decommissioned if the Foundation was unable to pay for the AMSA Special Survey.

“I have a very strong personal association with the work of the Foundation, as were it not for my participation in a youth development voyage in 2004, I would not have embarked upon my career in oil and gas shipping, nor is it likely that I would now be sitting in the Australian Senate,” he said.

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to provide this money to keep this vital service afloat,’’ he said.

Media Contacts

Guy Creighton – Guy.Creighton@ag.gov.au – 0438 815 302


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