HMAS Tobruk and Sydney make space for new ships

The Royal Australian Navy is relocating two of its decommissioned ships so that new ships, primarily the 27,500 tonne, 230m long Canberra class amphibious ships, HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide, have more space.

Decommissioned Navy ships Tobruk and Sydney will shortly be moved to the eastern side of Garden Island, Western Australia, to make more space along Fleet Base East.

Deputy Port Services Manager, Lieutenant Clint Waters, said his team has started doing a range of mooring tasks to alleviate some of the challenges associated with the shortage of berths.

“To create a berth, we’re taking the two decommissioned ships and we’re going to put them at the Man of War Number 1 buoy on the eastern side of Garden Island – a practice we used to do quite regularly 25 years ago,” he said.

To prepare for the move, three large mooring anchors stored on a lighter, or flat-bottomed barge, have been moved to the wharf at Garden Island. They will be specially laid using a crane and slip arrangement, and then be dredged into position.

“By March 7, we’ll have the 11 tonne anchor and two, five-and-a-half tonne anchors in place and then Tobruk and Sydney can be moved into position. The ships will be berthed as close to Garden Island as we can get them,” Lieutenant Waters said.

Both Tobruk and Sydney were decommissioned in 2015. They are being kept at Garden Island until a decision on their disposal is made by Government.

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