Last Thursday the 8th of September saw a celebration for the official opening of the HMAS Gladstone II at East Shores. Gladstone Ports Corporation and the Gladstone Maritime Museum held a ceremony for the official opening with those who assisted in the relocation and restoration of the ship.
Commissioned on the 8th of September 1984, the Gladstone was used in Australia’ fisheries protection, immigration, customs and drug law enforcement. In 2005 it was announced that the ships decommission was pending and a group of dedicated government and local business representatives with a group of maritime historians rallied to secure the city of Gladstone as the final resting place of its namesake ship.
On the 13th of March 2007, after serving for almost 23 years and covering 618,000 nautical miles, the ship was decommissioned in her homeport of Cairns and gifted to the Gladstone Maritime Museum.
The ship was then moored in Auckland Inlet from 2007 and then to an anchor berth in the Gladstone Marina, and finally relocated in 2014 to its permanent position at GPC’s East Shores Precinct where final restoration and maintenance works were undertaken.
Gladstone Ports Corporation has invested $2.8 million during the relocation and restoration process, assisted by a funding grant of $115,000 awarded through the Queensland Government’s Tourism
Demand Driver Infrastructure program. Locals and visitors to Gladstone’s East Shores Precinct can now take part in scheduled tours of the ship, hosted by the Gladstone Maritime Museum.
“We are delighted with the end result and we’re very excited to be able to share the ship and her wonderful story with Gladstone,” said Gladstone Maritime History Society’s President, Lindsay Wassell.
For information about tours of the HMAS Gladstone II, please contact the Gladstone Maritime Museum on 07 4972 0810.