Thursday, June 30, 2005


Shipwrecks win extra protection


Australian Herald
June 27, 2005

ALMOST 200 shipwrecks in South Australian waters will be protected under new laws.

Environment and Conservation Minister John Hill said today only 44 shipwrecks were presently protected from being damaged, plundered or even destroyed.

He said that protection would now be extended to another 145.

The Government has moved to declare all wrecks as being of historic value, and therefore protected, once they become 75 years old.

Previously shipwrecks were assessed on a case by case basis to determine if they had historical significance.

Mr Hill said South Australia had a rich maritime history and a coastline that evoked stories of tragedy, hardship and disaster, with ships foundering on reefs and rocks or lashed by storms.

"These ships were often bringing new settlers or important cargo and supplies to our fledgling colony," he said.
"These shipwrecks mark a very significant time in the development of our state.

"It is so important that we retain these wrecks in their watery graveyards and stop plunderers from stealing our history."

Among the wrecks to be protected under the changes are the Charles Carter, a wooden brig which sank on Troubridge Shoal in the Gulf St Vincent in 1854, and the Apollo, an iron barque, which sank near Whyalla, in the Spencer Gulf in 1889.


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