Minister for Defense, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, joined Rear Admiral Mike Noonan, Deputy Chief of the Navy, and veterans to dedicate a memorial on the site of ex-HMAS Platypus, Australia’s decommissioned east coast submarine base, honoring all who have died while serving in Australian submarines.
The ceremony also marked 50 years since the re-establishment of the Australian submarine capability in 1967.
“For the past 50 years, since we re-established the Australian Submarine Squadron, the silent service has been dedicated to duty,” Minister Payne said.
“Australia’s submariners who served in the Oberon class of boats and at Platypus contributed greatly to Australia’s defence and national security.”
“The new memorial reminds all Australians of the unique and dangerous nature of the work submariners undertake for our nation.”
Minister Payne said submarines play a key role in protecting Australia’s prosperity and in ensuring maritime security.
“Our entire economy is dependent on secure and open sea lanes, and submarines are critical in keeping these lanes available for all nations to freely navigate the oceans and conduct maritime trade,” Minister Payne said.
“Submarines are a key asset in our efforts to enhance the stability and reinforce the rules-based order in our region; as well as reducing the risk of regional disputes or armed conflict.
“Our submariners’ legacy continues with the Collins class submarine capability and into the future as we design and build a new class of 12 regionally superior submarines.”
The Submariners’ Memorial is part of an urban renewal project at the Platypus site. HMAS Platypus and the Torpedo workshops were closed in 1999 and are being transformed into a public space following $20 million in funding from the Commonwealth Government and $3.8 million from the Sydney Harbour Trust Fund.
The site will have improved access, new open spaces, and the former workshops will be adapted for a range of recreational, community, and commercial activities.