The Finding SYDNEY Foundation and its Trustee, HMAS SYDNEY Search Pty Ltd were delighted at the Prime Minister’s announcement today that the Federal Government would provide a grant of $1.3m to it for a search for HMAS SYDNEY II.
In expressing his gratitude to the Government for its generosity, the Chief Executive Officer of HMAS SYDNEY Search, retired navy Commodore Bob Trotter, said “The leadership taken by the Government in our fundraising for the search is very significant in both monetary terms and an expression of confidence in our plans to find SYDNEY II.”
Members of HMAS SYDNEY Search and the Foundation, led by key researchers from the University of Western Australia, have been researching this project over many years and have defined an area to search. Modern technology, routinely used in the offshore oil and gas industry, has provided the solution for conducting the search in very deep water off the NW coast of West Australia. More recently, the group formed an alliance with David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries UK, a veteran of many successful deep water wreck searches, including the battleships BISMARCK and HMS HOOD. Mearns’ independent research into the likely area where SYDNEY’s wreck lies has corroborated that of the Foundation.
In recent months the work of the Foundation and Mearns gained agreement by the Navy and then the Minister for Defence that the Foundation’s work heralded a successful search.
Providing sufficient money can be raised, it is planned to undertake a search before the end of 2005.
Commodore Trotter added that “The PM’s announcement of his Government’s support emphasises that this is an Australian story that involves all Australians. The men who went down with SYDNEY II came from all walks of life in all States and Territories across Australia. The public has so far been generous in its support but much more is needed. I hope that the Government’s confidence in our project will convince State and Territory Governments and the Corporate Sector that their participation will help bring a lasting solution to Australia’s most tragic and mysterious wartime loss of life and, bring closure for surviving and descendant kin of the 645 men lost with the ship.”
The Finding Sydney Foundation