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Defence launches science research vessel ‘Ginan’

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The Department of Defence has partnered up with an Australian company to strengthen their maritime research skills through an Australia-built science research vessel. 

The R/V Ginan is a 12-meter science research vessel, a product of Defence’s $1.8 million investment to support maritime research.  

The vessel was recently constructed by local Australian boatbuilder company Steber International, which is based in Taree, NSW, and will be used for science and technology trials in coastal waters. The R/V Ginan will operate its research predominantly in the Sydney Harbour and Jervis Bay regions of New South Wales. 

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the project was proof of the Government’s commitment to building high quality and versatile Australian research platforms within the Department of Defence. 

”We have a long history of working with Steber International and have been supported by Cummins South Pacific, Olectric Systems and a number of small service providers in the mid-north NSW coast area,” Minister Price said. “This has enabled us to strengthen Defence capability.”

While the science research vessel will focus on the development and testing of maritime robotic and autonomous systems, its versatility will also be used to support a range of programs in the future. These programs are said to include hydrographic surveys and ocean sciences. 

The vessel will replace its predecessor, the timber Army Work Boat, which has served as Defence’s science research vessel for more than 30 years. 

Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the R/V Ginan was named after the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander word Ginan. The word is said to represent a dilly bag filled with special songs of knowledge. 

“For the Wardaman people of Northern Australia, it also refers to the fifth brightest star in the Southern Cross,” Dr Gillespie said. “This project is clear evidence of our Government’s commitment to using Aussie know-how in the regions to grow our Defence capability.” 

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