The Andrews Labor Government is honoring more of the state’s war history with the elevation of Williamstown’s HMAS Castlemaine to the Victorian Heritage Register.
A Bathurst-class Minesweeper, the HMAS Castlemaine is one of eight vessels of its kind to be constructed at the Williamstown Naval Dockyard and currently welcomes visitors as a museum ship on Gem Pier, Williamstown.
The heritage listing comes as the Government leads commemorations to mark 75 years since the end of World War Two.
The 57metre-long ship was heavily used during WWII, including escorting other vessels, minesweeping, transporting supplies and survey duties predominantly in Northern Australia, Timor, Hong Kong, and Papua New Guinea.
Made predominantly of welded steel, the ship was built in 1941 using largely locally sourced materials, including engines constructed by Thompsons of Castlemaine.
It was launched by Dame Pattie Menzies, the wife of then Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Robert Menzies, on 7 August 1941, before being put into commission in 1942.
The ship now protected under the Heritage Act 2017 has been restored by the Maritime Trust of Australia since 1974.
Between 1940 and 1944, 60 Bathurst-class ships were built at eight Australian shipyards.
In accordance with Navy tradition, they were named after Australian towns, including the HMAS Colac, HMAS Whyalla, HMAS Cowra, and lead ship the HMAS Bathurst.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans Shaun Leane
“The story of the HMAS Castlemaine is integral to our state’s wartime history – and by protecting objects of historical significance from World War Two, we honor those who served.”
“Seventy-five years on since the end of this war, it’s important we reflect on the Victorian experience and recognise how it changed us.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne
“The HMAS Castlemaine is part of Williamstown’s story – it was built here and after undertaking a wide range of military duties now rests here as a permanent reminder of local wartime contributions.”
“The Williamstown community welcomes the inclusion of HMAS Castlemaine to the Heritage Register during the 75th anniversary year of the end of World War Two.”