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10/12/2021 12:10 PM

Sneak peek aboard Port Authority multimillion-dollar vessel

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams joined Port Authority of NSW CEO Captain Philip Holliday to inspect the progress of a multimillion-dollar multi-purpose vessel being built by Port Macquarie business Birdon recently.

Port Authority of NSW CEO Captain Philip Holliday said he was keen to inspect the multi-purpose vessel at Birdon’s shipyard in Port Macquarie, which is being built inverted, from deck plate up.

“This multimillion-dollar vessel build is a critical project for Port Authority and while I receive regular updates on its progress to date, there is nothing like seeing the workmanship of master ship builders in person,’’ Captain Holliday said.

“The next important stage of this build will be when the vessel is turned upright when I expect it to start looking more like the state-of-the-art multi-purpose vessel that will become an essential part of our Sydney and Port Botany fleet.

“Early next year it is expected the second vessel will start its building journey and with improved capabilities the new vessels will replace two of Port Authority's existing famous tugs, used for critical on-water operations and emergency responses to fires, oil spills and other maritime incidents.”

Multi-purpose vessel visit at Birdon, Port Macquarie

Birdon CEO Jamie Bruce said ’the new vessels have been designed in consultation with Port Authority of NSW operational staff and marine operations teams, and will be built to go faster, have improved maneuverability and better access to shallow areas for firefighting operations and incident response.

“Our team of skilled engineers and tradespeople are proud to be building two new multi-purpose vessels which will help respond to incidents and ensure the safety of water users as an important part of iconic Sydney Harbour.

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the $10million contract is a great investment in local jobs for Port Macquarie, with 40 Birdon staff and an additional 20 subcontractors working on the vessels locally.

"The vessels are being built, from keel laying to fit out, at Birdon's Port Macquarie shipyard and are providing a great opportunity for local tradies to secure work," Mrs Williams said.

"Birdon have designed and delivered a range of multi-million-dollar vessels and have provided a vital boost to the local economy during the COVID-19 crisis over the past year.

“This is a clear demonstration of the way regional industries are supporting not just local and State economies but retaining highly skilled workers in regional towns."