The HMAS Gladstone may return to Gladstone Harbour as a permanent fixture in 2007.
The HMAS Gladstone may return to Gladstone Harbour as a permanent fixture in 2007.

HMAS Gladstone patrol boat may end days here

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE naval patrol boat HMAS Gladstone could find a home in its namesake city after its decommissioning in 2007.

The Royal Australian Navy has confirmed the vessel would become available to the city, but a condition is that it be treated with honour. Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said he had been supporting community moves to have the HMAS Gladstone handed over to Gladstone after being approached by the then Gladstone Maritime History Society president Stephen Mills six years ago.

'Gladstone has a good chance of getting the boat because of its long-standing request,' Mr Neville said.

"I have asked that, where possible, attachments be retained to heighten the visual authenticity of the exhibit, and that includes the gun, although it would have to be disabled.'

Mr Neville said Gladstone City Council was fully behind the request to have HMAS Gladstone handed over to the city.

Yesterday both Mr Mills and the president of the Gladstone Maritime History Society Ced Janson said he was 'excited' by the news after years of effort.

'That (to get the vessel) would be the greatest thing that could happen to us ? it would be big thing for our museum,' he said.

It is also expected the vessel would be a big tourist draw to the city.

'We will have to do quite a bit of fundraising to get the vessel here and we would need to maintain it in good exhibition condition,' he said.

Another possible use for the decommissioned vessel is sale to overseas countries for military or police purposes.



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