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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP



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Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

9 June 2004

$63,000 to unlock secrets of NSW shipwrecks

Off the shores of New South Wales lie almost 1800 secrets - ships whose voyages ended abruptly on the ocean bed.

New funding announced today by the Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, will help to unlock the secrets of many of the state's historic shipwrecks and make them accessible to all.

"The Australian Government is contributing $63,000 through the Historic Shipwrecks Program to support the New South Wales Heritage Office in identifying and protecting the shipwreck sites off the NSW coast," Dr Kemp said.

"Funding will be used to train shipwreck inspectors, collect information from shipwreck sites, manage wrecks off the New South Wales coast and make information accessible to the public, particularly via the internet.

"With more than 6500 known shipwrecks off Australia's coasts, our underwater cultural heritage is a rich reserve of information about this nation's maritime history. It is also a fragile resource. Many of our shipwrecks are exposed not only to the force of the elements but also to the impacts of careless or souveniring visitors.

"The New South Wales Heritage Office, our state partner in administering the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, has worked consistently to guard sites and share their stories with the public.

"This funding will help them to continue this good work. Over time we will all benefit from discovering the stories that come to the surface from the ocean bed."

Work supported by this funding includes:

For further information, visit

Commonwealth of Australia