Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Remove ex-HMAS Otama submarine from Western Port
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council the dangerous condition of the privately-owned ex-HMAS Otama submarine.

The submarine is moored in proximity to the Crib Point jetty and its pipeline infrastructure.
Its heavily corroded hull was recently perforated and it partially flooded causing the vessel to list. The vessel was declared a navigation hazard and an Emergency Direction was issued by the Director of Maritime Safety.

The ex-HMAS Otama was temporarily repaired but remains an imminent toxic spill threat to the internationally recognised and protected waters of the Western Port Ramsar site. It is a potential hazard to shipping and port infrastructure while it remains in Western Port’s waters. It should be removed while it is still possible and placing it on the beach beside a petroleum import jetty, as flagged in the media, is not a viable option.

Onboard hazards include two enormous lead acid batteries weighing 228.5 tonnes, 33,600 litres of sulphuric acid-based electrolyte, quantity of distillate and 1,000 litres of hydraulic oil and other lubricants.

Twenty years ago the vessel was notionally sold to an organisation without the funds to maintain it. They failed to secure necessary agreements and approvals for a tourism project to be viable. It is time to allow the last Oberon class submarine a dignified end.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to urgently work with Defence Materiel Organisation or other agencies to remove the ex-HMAS Otama submarine from Western Port to prevent a permanent sinking incident and potential environmental disaster, and to investigate and implement appropriate vessel disposal options including redeployment as an artificial reef or dive site and the ability for Holbrook Submarine Museum to salvage parts.
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