Tasmania turns down retired frigate gift

RAN file photo

Former Australian Navy frigate ex-HMAS Darwin will not be turned into a dive wreck off the coast of Tasmania as the island state’s government decided not to accept the Commonwealth’s gift.

While the frigate was offered for scuttling off the East Coast for free, the Tasmanian government figured out it would have to pay over AUD12 million to prepare and establish the ex-HMAS Darwin as a dive wreck.

The Department of State Growth further found that it would cost approximately $600,000 per annum to monitor and manage the dive wreck site that would not be covered by dive permit receipts.

“We thank the Commonwealth for their offer, however, the costs associated with the project have rendered it financially unfeasible,” the Tasmanian government said.

Ex-HMAS Darwin was commissioned in July 1984 and was a long-range escort frigate that undertook roles including area air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.

The frigate was decommissioned in December 2017 and offered as a gift to the Tasmanian government in August 2018.

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