MMHN Update April 2021

MMHN Update April 2021

Greetings

The past month has seen progress on a wide range of issues with great potential to enhance recognition of Victoria’s maritime heritage. At the same time, there is ongoing lack of clarity around future plans for Victoria Harbour and Central Pier and indications of some missed opportunities. In this April edition of MMHN Update, we summarise some of the latest developments.

In this issue:
(Click on the headings below for specific items, or scroll down for the full Update)
Upcoming Seminar: Victoria Harbour & Central Pier – A Story Waiting to be Told
Victoria Harbour, Marvel Stadium and AFL Plans
Central Pier Update
Heritage Victoria
Progress on a Maritime Heritage Precinct for Melbourne
Southbank Promenade Upgrade
Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change
HMAS Australia II Exhibition
Naval Historical Society of Australia (Victoria Chapter)
Star of the South Wind Farm Project
Floaters and FPSOs explained
Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework
Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) and Offshore &Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA)
Australia – Island Nation
Princes Walk Vaults
First Contact Topic re-visited
Yarra Riverkeepers
MMHN Museum of the Month – Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Sea Road to destruction: cruise ships and COVID-19
A question about the Maritime Industry
Ferries – Ship Spotting with a difference
The Wattle Saga continues …. in Melbourne
Marine Service Depot
Port of Yangon
In case you missed it – 19th century Maid of Lincoln lifeboat found

Upcoming Seminar: Victoria Harbour & Central PierA Story Waiting to be Told
At Magnet Galleries in Docklands, on 1 May, MMHN Director Michael O’Brien will be delivering a presentation which aims to shed light on the largely untold stories of Victoria Harbour and Central Pier.
When: Saturday, 1 May 2021
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Where: Magnet Galleries, Waterfront City, SC G19 Wharf Street, Docklands
Directions: Take the City Circle Tram to Stop D11 (last stop), or Trams No. 86, 70 or 35.
RSVPs are still being accepted at: info@mmhn.org.au

The Flyer for this event reads:
In the heart of Docklands, Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network will share the ‘untold story’ of Victoria Harbour and the currently controversial Central Pier explaining why both these iconic maritime heritage assets are significant – and fascinating. Failure to understand such maritime infrastructure has resulted in incremental neglect and threatened demolition.
Melbourne’s maritime heritage infrastructure of all types is little understood by the wider public or by the plethora of authorities responsible for asset preservation. Two iconic maritime infrastructure assets remain in the CBD – Victoria Harbour and Central Pier. Both were recognized as technically advanced civil engineering projects at the time they were constructed; complex and complementary structures built to enable the great volume of maritime trade which generated prosperity for Melbourne and the hinterland. The ‘untold story’ underpinning these structures – conception, design, and construction – reveals that they deserve recognition, respect and, of course, preservation.
This free MMHN Seminar is held as part of the Australian Heritage Festival celebrating ‘Our Heritage for the Future’. It will present historical information and images and will offer – weather permitting – an optional short walk to Victoria Harbour and Central Pier.

Victoria Harbour, Marvel Stadium and AFL Plans
Recently, the State government announced it will fund a $225 million upgrade of Marvel Stadium. Early designs for this project visually reflected its prime waterside location. However, despite the Victorian government’s stated position that it will help reposition Docklands as Melbourne’s key waterfront destination, the recently announced ‘new’ design literally ‘turns its back’ on Docklands.
The latest AFL design focuses on refurbishing public and function areas that overlook the Wurundjeri Way side of the ground, not the harbour-side. If approved, construction may commence as early as mid-2021.
The significance of Victoria Harbour is hard to overlook. It is the second largest excavated harbour in the world, and a masterpiece of 19th century civil engineering. However, these latest developments suggest that both the AFL and Development Victoria, the government’s development arm, have decided to ignore this magnificent civic asset in their redevelopment plans for Marvel Stadium. Development Victoria, which has been ‘partnering’ with the AFL, has been inexplicably passive in responding to concerns about the AFL about-face.
As things stand, this is a major lost opportunity. These events are a reminder of the importance of MMHN’s ongoing mission to influence key decision makers in our city and state who, surprisingly, regularly demonstrate a reluctance to appreciate, and staunchly defend, our waterways.
In an insightful article published in Docklands News on 4 January 2021, David Schout criticizes the recent state government decisions on Marvel Stadium.
See https://www.docklandsnews.com.au/images/uploads/pdf-archive/DN170.pdf. MMHN is adding its voice to those questioning these decisions.


Note Central Pier in the background

Central Pier Update
MMHN has also been paying close attention to unfolding developments surrounding Docklands’ Central Pier. The future refurbishment of the pier has potential to be a focal point for the re-activation of the Docklands area, attracting both tourism and renewed local business activity. At the same time, well designed solutions should provide recognition of the past and ongoing importance of maritime heritage and maritime industries to Melbourne and Victoria.
Despite the Victorian government’s decision in August 2019 to permanently close Central Pier, MMHN has received assurance that the government remains committed to ensuring a future for the Pier, as an important heritage asset at the heart of Docklands. We understand that Development Victoria has been instructed to continue to work with Heritage Victoria, the City of Melbourne, local businesses and the community on a long-term plan for Central Pier – one which will support the ongoing development of the Docklands precinct.
MMHN is committed to watching developments closely. We stand ready to help the State government in any way we can to deliver outcomes which will benefit the City of Melbourne and Victoria.
The Victoria Harbour wharves, and Central Pier in particular, are some of Melbourne’s greatest maritime assets. In its heyday, this key maritime heritage infrastructure underpinned Victorian prosperity – urban and regional. The civil engineering of this infrastructure was world renowned in the 19th century, delivering Melbourne its reputation as a strong go-ahead city and port on a global scale.

Heritage Victoria
MMHN strongly encourages all maritime enthusiasts to examine the Heritage Victoria website – and specifically the pages dealing with maritime heritage. See https://www.heritage.vic.gov.au/heritage-listings/maritime-heritage and https://www.heritage.vic.gov.au/protecting-our-heritage/nominate-a-place-or-object
We should all ask ourselves the question – are we protecting enough? Heritage protection may be gained through applying for registration on state and national lists. The scope for registration includes maritime infrastructure, shipwrecks and aircraft wreck sites and other artefacts – and there are opportunities to achieve declaration of ‘protected zones’.
A recent example of a Heritage Victoria (HV) registration application concerning maritime infrastructure is the Lorne Fishing Co-operative, which is vulnerable and facing planned inappropriate development. Lorne Historical Society and Friends of Lorne, both seeking HV registration, sought MMHN support for their application. MMHN is delighted to be in a position to lend support to this application, and other appropriate applications in future, as part of our mission to seek recognition and protection of maritime heritage assets.

Progress on a Maritime Heritage Precinct for Melbourne
On a positive note, we have been very pleased to observe the progress the City of Melbourne has been making to achieve the vision of a maritime heritage precinct within the City.
For the past two years MMHN has been advocating the creation of a Melbourne Waterways Maritime Trail. There is potential for a world-class maritime heritage precinct to be formed by linking together existing maritime assets along the Lower Yarra River and Docklands, with the remarkable Mission to Seafarers building and the new Seafarers Rest Park at its hub. The City of Melbourne is to be congratulated for its high level of engagement with community stakeholders in this project over recent months.

Southbank Promenade Upgrade
Another important project is the City of Melbourne’s community engagement process for the Southbank Promenade Landscape Upgrade. Interim findings were presented to the City’s Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) on Tuesday 20 April.
Information about the proposed Southbank Promenade Landscape Upgrade project can be found at this link – https://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/southbank-promenade/concept-plan

Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change
MMHN is delighted to have joined more than 750 companies and organisations as a signatory to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. We aim to play our part in helping to resolve the largely invisible crew-change crisis which is afflicting international shipping in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A press release issued by the Global Maritime Forum can be viewed here –
https://www.globalmaritimeforum.org/press/over-300-companies-and-organizations-join-forces-to-help-resolve-a-humanitarian-crisis-on-the-worlds-ocean

HMAS Australia II Exhibition
On 27 March 2021, Commodore Greg Yorke CSC RAN, Senior Naval Officer Victoria, and MMHN Board Member opened the HMAS Australia II Exhibition at the Victorian Maritime Centre in Hastings, Victoria. The Exhibition is to commemorate the role Australia II played in WWII. The event was attended by two former members of Australia II ship’s company Petty Officer Des Skinkfield and Signalman Bruce Crowl, as well as two other WWII veterans.
Victorian Maritime Centre invites you to experience this exhibition during the opening hours of 10-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and other days/times by appointment for groups of 12 or greater. Check out www.maritimecentre.com.au for more information and admission prices.

Naval Historical Society of Australia (Victoria Chapter)
MMHN congratulates Captain Andrew MacKinnon, the new President of the NHSA (V). We wish him well and look forward to continuing a close collaboration between NHSA (V) and MMHN. Since the Naval Historical Society of Australia (Victoria Chapter) was formed ten years ago, the profile of naval history in this State has been significantly raised – all of the fascinating 228 years of it! The Navy Victoria Network (NVN) is a valuable resource for everyone with a keen interest in maritime heritage, with its mission to keep people informed about events and other matters of maritime interest. Established in 2011, it shares information about forthcoming events such as ship visits, commemoration services, scheduled reunions, RAN policy changes announced by Chief of Navy and so on and draws attention to Naval matters of general interes”.
See: https://navyvic.net/history%20-%20NVN.html

Star of the South Wind Farm Project
In addition to its energy output, The Star of the South offshore wind farm project has the potential, both in its construction phase and over its lifetime of the Farm, to generate significant new maritime employment opportunities – which will entail maritime skills training. Both maritime jobs and maritime skills training are key objectives in the MMHN agenda. Located off the coast of Gippsland, the project is valued at between $8 and $10 billion. The project has potential to supply almost 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity by the end of the decade. A transmission route which would connect it to the Victorian grid has now been agreed. Given that the coal-fired power station at Yallourn is now due to close in 2028, rather than in 2032, Star of the South Wind Farm could perhaps be part of the energy and employment solution. (Angela Macdonald-Smith “Offshore wind pioneer firms up grid link”, AFR, 23 March 2021,
https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/offshore-wind-pioneer-firms-up-grid-link-20210322-p57ctn )

Floaters and FPSOs explained
We are grateful to Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA) for alerting us to the critical importance of the esoteric forms of offshore specialised shipping associated with maritime extraction offshore. Floaters and FPSOs are ‘vessels’ or more precisely ‘units’, including all self-propelled Floating Production Storage and Offloading units (FPSOs), Floating Storage and Offloading units (FSOs), semi-submersible drilling units and drill ships. The term ‘self-propelled’ is used because propulsion essentially defines the ‘unit’ as a ship. These are not to be confused with Jack-up drilling rigs, barges, and non-propelled FPSOs/FSOs, which are usually attached to fixed permanent moorings. Many different types of specialist shipping are required in off-shore extraction – for example, anchor handling tug supply vessels, diving support vessels, seismic survey vessels and well intervention vessels.


Floaters and FPSOs

Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework: Maritime heritage stakeholders agree that the framework is deficient
In the February MMHN Update you will have noted that MMHN made a submission on the future of the Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework. A state government entity, Freight Victoria, engaged consultants GHD to prepare this framework to guide future land use and infrastructure changes. MMHN is pleased to note that the Inner West Branch of the National Trust made a joint submission with the National Trust. In essence the National Trust and MMHN share a serious concern that the Draft Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework failed to adequately acknowledge maritime heritage or address maritime heritage issues in this, one of Victoria’s most significant waterfronts. The National Trust emphasised the need to increase public waterfront access, including access to key heritage assets such as the currently inaccessible Alfred Graving Dock.


Williamstown Precinct                                     Alfred Graving Dock, Williamstown

Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) and Offshore &Specialist Ships Australia (OSSA)
This admirable organization, the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association, was launched in Australia in July 2000. AUSMEPA was modeled on the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) founded voluntarily by Greek seafarers and ship-owners in 1982 with the broad and ambitious aim to inform, educate and mobilize all those working in shipping from shipowner to the last seafarer towards greater recognition of the environment and to trigger a pollution prevention and safety spirit throughout the industry.
AUSMEPA is a registered charitable organisation staffed mainly by volunteers who have done a remarkable job thus far. Regrettably funding cuts have resulted in AUSMEPA closing down in Australia. However, all is not lost! OSSA have agreed to ‘rescue’ and continue, in part, AUSMEPA’s important education program. OSSA will now distribute through its Schools Program the excellent teaching posters created by AUSMEPA. This valuable work – educating the young to see the link between the marine environment and the shipping industry – will continue under the stewardship of OSSA.
MMHN is delighted that OSSA will continue to educate people – and especially school children – on the importance of oceans and the need to keep them clean, and the role played by shipping in this critical task. MMHN also congratulates AUSMEPA for its work over the past 20 years and OSSA for continuing to raise
Australia – Island Nation
We are all aware that Australia is the world’s only island continent but perhaps it is less well known and certainly astounding to note that Australia has 8222 islands within its maritime borders (Anthony Dennis, The Age 20 March 2021) From Torres Strait to sub-Antarctic latitudes, the actually tally is incomplete.
Wikipedia invites you to add to this list, and if you do, please let MMHN know. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_of_Australia#Victoria
Turning now to the State of Victoria, there are 184 islands ‒ and counting. Some are river islands – some come and go.

 

Princes Walk Vaults
These riverside bluestone vaults are remarkable maritime infrastructures, but they tend to be quite literally ‘overlooked’ by the throngs of people frequenting Federation Square.
The Princes Walk Vaults on the Yarra bank are the responsibility of the management of Federation Square, which has produced an excellent and surprising documentary about them. The vaults were designed as integral elements of the construction of Princes Bridge and although the actual designer is unknown, the name ‘AW McKenzie’ appears on one of the design drawings. The vaults were built in 1889 -1890 after the current Princes Bridge was opened.
The ten vault pillars are made of Malmsbury bluestone and capped in Harcourt granite. They provide a good model of successful heritage asset remediation and re-purposing. We would hope that other less well cared for vaults along the river eventually follow this example.See  https://fedsquare.com/events/mini-documentaries .
First Contact Topic re-visited

The recent MMHN Seminar Port Phillip: Looking in, looking out. Aboriginal and colonial perspective seems to have triggered the imagination of many. Demand far exceeded the capacity of the Docklands Library Theatrette. Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of the City of Melbourne, Aboriginal Melbourne Branch, the presentations were captured on video.
See https://www.dropbox.com/s/92zri1wa4a4wti5/Maritime-First%20Contact%20v1.mov?dl=0
Since the MMHN seminar, additional information on the fascinating topic of First Contact has come to our attention, broadening our understanding of this pivotal point in our shared maritime history. For those keen to know more on this, MMHN recommends that you watch: The Message: The Story from the Shore which is an award-winning film by Alison Page, made in collaboration with Indigenous communities along Australia’s east coast. It reimagines the message of the arrival of Endeavour being passed from place to place. See https://youtu.be/hoU65yHWikA


Yarra Riverkeepers
Another viewing recommendation is the recent segment on the ABC’s Gardening Australia, on 12 March 2021, which featured Yarra Riverkeepers. Shining a spotlight on maritime heritage infrastructure, it showed splendid images of Docklands – wharves, bridges, goods sheds etc.
The program also featured Herring Island, a 3.2-hectare artificial island in the Yarra River, named after Sir Edmund Herring of Scouts fame. Those interested to know more can access the island via a Free Public Punt service leaving from the Yarra bank near South Yarra (operating until Easter Monday 5 April 2021).
Herring IslandThe course of the Birrarung/Yarra River has changed, many, many times; natural meanderings on its way to the mouth of the estuary and it has been altered to suit the ‘needs’ of the day, e.g. Herring Island was formed in1928 with the excavation of Victoria harbor. The existence of Docklands as it is today demonstrates the way the river has been shaped, and re-shaped, over time. Another example is Coode Island. Seehttps://www.abc.net.au/gardening/ andhttps://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/my-garden-path—andrew-kelly/13243134. 

 

MMHN Museum of the Month

Maritime Museum of Tasmania See  www.maritimetas.org/collection
In 1972 a group of six enthusiasts established an independent maritime museum in Hobart. They pooled their private collections and these, along with donations from the Shiplovers’ Society, form the core of the collection today. The first museum opened in 1974 at the back of St George’s Church in Battery Point. During 1983, the museum moved into historic Secheron House (1831), close to former Battery Point shipyards where many vessels have been built over the last two hundred years. In 1999, the museum took its first steps to becoming a major community resource and attraction for the twenty-first century, moving to the Carnegie Building, close to Constitution Dock and Sullivans Cove, the heart of maritime Hobart. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the redeveloped museum in March 2000. Two vessels of historic significance to Tasmania are managed by the museum. The May Queen, the last floating example of a timber Tasmanian trading ketch, can be found moored in Constitution Dock, while museum volunteers are currently conserving Tasmanian designed and built yacht, Westward, the only Tasmanian yacht to win the Sydney to Hobart yacht race twice, in 1948 and 1949. The museum is backed-up with a Tasmanian Maritime Heritage & Activity Trail. The museum is open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week. Entrance is $10.00, with accompanied children free of charge.


Maritime Museum of Tasmania

Sea Road to destruction: cruise ships and COVID-19
The global pandemic rapidly led to a collapse of cruise shipping. Incredible photos show giant cruise ships being scrapped In Aliaga, a port in Turkey, 45km north of Izmir. For shipbreakers, 2020 year was a bumper year: Ship operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned. Carnival Corp, the largest cruise company in the world, recently announced it would sell off 18 cruise ships. These included the Sun Princess and Sea Princess, both of which were due to cruise Australian waters in 2021. Fifty-five Australia-based cruises have been cancelled as a result, with 14 international cruises also cancelled. Lined up in the floating graveyard are five cruise ships, among them the Carnival Fantasy which underwent a massive refit just last year. See https://www.traveller.com.au/cruise-ships-and-covid19-incredible-photos-show-giant-cruise-ships-being-scrapped-h1r7kw

 


Five cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port in Izmir, Turkey

A question about the Maritime Industry
MMHN is concerned about the maritime industry, but this example of an obviously thriving industry poses a dilemma: can shipbreaking be described as an Industry? The infamous ship-breaking yards of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are again in the spotlight due to the collapsing cruise market. The romance and glory of the ships is in sharp contrast to the ugly workplace in which they are ‘stranded’. Labour rights and environmental protection organizations warn of extreme hazard for workers – negligible OHS awareness or accessible protective equipment. Workers die each year and many suffer from fatal diseases such as cancer. Shipbreaking is certainly a specialised type of maritime industry – a growing one it seems. See below some of the famous documentary films on the ship breaking industry and the hazardous working conditions in these yards.
See https://www.marineinsight.com/maritime-law/top-10-documentary-films-on-ship-breaking-industry/

Ferries – Ship Spotting with a difference
The collapse of cruise shipping has spawned new and frenetic ferry tourism business: ships anchored off the UK coast have become a major tourist attraction during the northern summer, with several local ferry companies taking guests out to see the empty ships up close. Nicknamed ‘the ghost fleet’, the ships belong to a variety of cruise companies and include famous vessels such as the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth and the Allure of the Seas, a 282-tonne monster that’s the world’s fourth-largest cruise ship. And it’s a moveable attraction. Cunard spokesperson for Cunard, owner of the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, explained During this pause in our operations our Cunard ships are berthed in Southampton but also periodically sail to and anchor in other locations including off the south coast … Much in the same way as a car needs to be driven, our ships need to sail to ensure full working operation and then return to the berths for storing. We have essential manning on board – approximately 100 crew members per ship. The crew can, of course, use guest facilities providing they adhere to social distancing and other health protocols.”
See https://www.traveller.com.au/ghost-fleet-of-empty-cruise-ships-anchored-off-uk-thousands-flock-for-ferry-trips-out-to-ships-h1qbhx

The Wattle Saga continues …. in Melbourne
In September 1979, the Wattle arrived in Melbourne towed from Sydney by tug Edina courtesy of the Howard Smith Tug Co. The Victorian Steamship Association (VSA) formed to voluntarily take on the restoration, maintenance and eventual operation of the Wattle. Restoration proceeded with a volunteer workforce, in-kind donations from industry and supporters and limited finances. Grants from the Commonwealth Government Community Employment Program and the Victorian Economic Development Committee accelerated work in 1984.
After obtaining ‘Survey’ to carry up to 50 passengers and 5 crew on Port Philip, in 1986 the VSA commenced a regular commercial service for Wattle – two-hour cruises on Sundays on the Yarra and Hobsons Bay and all-day return cruises on Saturdays to Portarlington. Wattle also tapped into the holiday market by re-locating at Rye pier on the Mornington Peninsula during the December/January summer holidays and seal viewing trips to the channel markers of Port Phillip Bay. On 30 December 1987 the Wattle proudly led the Australian Bicentennial Parade of tall ships down Port Phillip to Melbourne. In August 1997 the founding VSA entity was replaced with the Bay Steamers Maritime Museum Ltd (BSMM Ltd). Regrettably, hull deterioration resulted in the suspension of commercial services in 2003 and in January 2004 Survey for Wattle was withdrawn. The operational future of the Wattle looked grim. To be concluded in the May MMHN Update.



Marine Service Depot

It is no surprise that Heritage vessels such as Wattle need constant regular maintenance. Strange as it may seem, amid all the navigable water in Docklands, there are no adequate marine service facilities based there. This is bad news for the Heritage Fleet and bad news for the many modern vessels that we all enjoy seeing at Docklands. This absence of marine service facilities in Docklands is clearly a ‘deficit’ which must be addressed The City of Melbourne has long-held plans to establish a Marine Services Depot – obviously essential marine infrastructure in any in Docklands precinct. The Depot site has been agreed by Development Victoria at Yarra’s Edge (Bolte West Precinct). Development Victoria has already allocated funding for the necessary wharf restoration there. Yet NO ACTION still! MMHN advocates staunchly that Development Victoria must, as a matter of urgency, act on the long overdue plans. Progress of this Depot is a great opportunity right now for Development Victoria to neutralize the bad media generated by its failure to preserve and care for Central Pier, exacerbated by current Collins Wharf problems. Further, it would create jobs, extend maritime skills training and support Docklands activation. We live in hope.

Port of Yangon
Given that the plight of Myanmar is in the global media ’spotlight’, it may be of interest to reflect on the striking similarities between Melbourne, Australia’s largest port city, and Yangon, the largest port city in Myanmar. Yangon sits on the banks of a large navigable tidal river lined with goods sheds; significant colonial architecture, and remains intact in the CBD which is laid out in identical grid pattern to Melbourne’s ’Hoddle grid‘- wide thoroughfares and small ‘service’ streets. The Port of Yangon handles 90% of Myanmar’s trade although Myanmar is reported as having nine ports along its extensive coastline, which includes the Mergui archipelago of 800+ islands. Yangon is 32 km inland from the Gulf of Martaban where the Pilot Station is located and it is no wonder that pilotage is compulsory for vessels over 500 GRT. Yangon harbour is generally accessed on a flood tide, crossing Inner and Outer Bars. With the average tidal range of 5.85m at spring tide and 2.55 m at neap tide, timing is critical.
Yangon, like Melbourne was, and is, a great maritime trading city and has been so since the time of the British Empire and like Melbourne, there have been a series of changes in port administration. The Port Authority headquarters remain in a splendid heritage-listed colonial building located on The Strand, the prestigious boulevard adjacent to the river. As was the case in Melbourne, containerisation brought a change in location for maritime trade. Myanmar International Terminals were established at Thilawa 25 kilometres south of Yangon, now wholly owned by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), operating 24/7. In 2017, China sought to build a port in Kyaukpyu in western Myanmar, and connect it to Kunming, southern China, by a highway and railways. Beijing’s move to expand political and economic ties with Myanmar is part of its geopolitical ambition to expand its clout in the Indian Ocean. An agreement was reached by the elected Myanmar government to allow China to proceed with the so-called ‘String of Pearls Strategy’, in which Beijing finances port projects along the Indian Ocean to secure routes for foreign oil and trade. Kyaukpyu is part of this strategy, raising concerns from India and other regional players, as well as the U.S., over the military capabilities of the ports. To state the obvious, no doubt adverse impact of the current political upheaval on both Yangon and its vitally important port is of immense concern.
https://www.mmtimes.com/news/government-build-new-ports-assistance-japan.html
See https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/China-and-Myanmar-agree-to-accelerate-key-Belt-and-Road-portChina-Myanmar





In case you missed it – 19th century Maid of Lincoln lifeboat found

On Tuesday, 30 March, the ABC carried a report of a lifeboat from the 19th century Maid of Lincoln which was sunk off Jurien Bay WA in 1891. The lifeboat was found recently in the rafters of an historic farm shed.

 

Until next month,

Kind regards
Jackie
Dr Jackie Watts OAM
Chair,
Melbourne Maritime Heritage Network
0400 305 323 or email info@mmhn.org.au

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