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22 December 2009
The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, has confirmed AHS Centaur is fully protected as an historic shipwreck.
Following advice on Sunday 20 December 2009 that the Centaur was located off the Queensland coast, Mr Garrett said the shipwreck is protected by the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976.
“The Act gives legal protection to the vessel and its associated relics from damage, disturbance or removal,” Mr Garrett said.
“This means activities that might disturb or damage the shipwreck are prohibited.”
“It is important we preserve and honour this significant site and ensure that the final chapter of this tragic story is completed. Once footage of the site confirms the final resting place of the Centaur, I intend to make a full declaration of the site under the Act.”
“I congratulate everyone who has been involved in the search for the Centaur and hope the families and friends of those who lost their lives will find comfort in its discovery,” Mr Garrett said.
The Director of the Search for the Centaur, David L Mearns, has advised the Australian and Queensland Governments that the wreck location is approximately 30 miles due east off the southern tip of Moreton Island (27 deg 16.98' South, 153 deg 59.22' East) at a depth of 2,059 metres.
The Australian and Queensland Governments jointly committed $4 million to the search and officers from the Department of Defence and the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided oversight and technical assistance to the project.
For more information about the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 go to www.heritage.gov.au