Skip to main content

Launch of RSV 'Nuyina', Hobart


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Muwinia People, and pay my respects to their elders past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good morning.

Before I begin my remarks about RSV Nuyina could I join with Minister Ley [The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment] in acknowledging the deaths of the five children in Devonport on Thursday in tragic circumstances.

Like so many around the country, Linda and I watched aghast as the news came through. The nature and scale of the tragedy is devastating and heartbreaking.

On behalf of all Australians, Linda and I extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the children, the Hillcrest Primary School community, First Responders, and the people of Devonport. All are experiencing unimaginable pain.

To those impacted by this tragedy – know that we care. The Australian family cares. We are with you in spirit, and you remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Ladies and gentlemen …

The Krill are excited! ... by the rumour that a new vessel will soon appear to assist in research into their long-term health and viability. We should share in their excitement, for their future and ours are closely entwined. May RSV Nuyina be part of a long-term journey to our joint and successful future.

The decision to hire the Nuyina was a significant statement by Australia of its commitment to its responsibilities in Antarctica.

In just days Nuyina will set sail down the Derwent, bound for Antarctica, marking the beginning of a new era in our nation’s Antarctic history.

Antarctica has always enticed explorers, scientists and the most curious of minds. Nuyina will provide a new platform for those current and future minds for which the Antarctic is and will be a magnet.

Nuyina brings the exploratory and research power of 21st Century science and technology to a region of the world that has sparked wonder and imagination for generations. The departure day will be a proud day for her crew, for all at the Australian Antarctic Division, and for Australia.

As you look out to your right, Nuyina is a sight to behold. She towers over us. Her presence creates an optimism and an air of anticipation and excitement of future possibilities.

Replacing the Aurora Australis, which served Australia and the Antarctic Division for 30 years, Nuyina is ready to support our endeavours in Antarctica for the next 30 years.

In building on Dewayne's [Mr Dewayne Everettsmith] Welcome to Country, isn't it a remarkable message on the journey our country has gone on and is going through in terms of reconciliation that 30 years ago it was Aurora Australis and that, today, it is Nuyina. What will it be in another 30 years.

The capability this ship brings, as others will shortly detail, is extraordinary. We know that scientific research has the potential to unlock new insights and new pathways. We don’t know how exactly where that will translate at times into applications and outcomes, but we know that it will and that this vessel will provide one of the means to achieve that.

Australia is proud of its role in international efforts to value, protect and understand Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty is recognised as one of the most successful of international agreements.

For more than 60 years the Treaty has ensured the peaceful use of Antarctica and promoted international cooperation to unlock answers to scientific questions of importance to the region and the world.

The work to govern, manage and protect the Antarctic region is ongoing. Australia must work alongside other nations to continue to uphold and strengthen the Antarctic Treaty System.

Congratulations to all who have made today’s event and celebration possible.

The governments, departments and institutions at the federal and state levels. The Australian Antarctic Division – an organisation that is home to some of the most brilliant minds in the country; good people who have dedicated their lives to scientific research. Nuyina's expeditioners and crew – whose input has helped create this amazing vessel.

Finally, to the expeditioners and crew - go well. May you unlock information that helps you preserve the great wilderness and solve the important problems that affect our future.

I wish all on board RSV Nuyina a safe voyage and success of work that is critical to mankind.

‘Fair winds and following seas’.