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Transcript 16296

Joint Media Release with Queensland Premier Anna Bligh - PM and Premier agree to share costs in Centaur search

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/12/2008

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 16296

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today announced they will begin the search for Australian Hospital Ship Centaur.

They have agreed to a $4 million cap for the search.

The Centaur was sunk without warning by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine on 14 May 1943 about 50 miles east north-east of Brisbane. Of the 332 persons on board, only 64 survived. It is understood three Centaur survivors are still alive.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he hoped the search might provide closure for those survivors and the families of those who perished in the tragedy.

“I think it is proper that we should make this attempt, not only to provide closure to the families of the victims and the survivors, but to honour the victims themselves,” Mr Rudd said.

“We know that this search will be very challenging because of the nature of the ocean floor in the area where the ship was lost.

“If we are successful it would mean that we could go about protecting this very significant site - the final resting place of 268 Australians.”

Ms Bligh thanked the Prime Minister for responding to her request to jointly undertake the search.

“If we can find the Centaur, it will be of considerable emotional significance for many of the relatives of those lost on her.

“This site is part of our State and nation's history and we should try and find, preserve and protect it.

“For them and their families it is right that we try to find and mark its exact location.

“The 268 Aussies and their lost ship are reminders of what we as families, a State and a nation have lost in war. It is right that in our remembering them we can say exactly where they lie,” she said.

A Joint Steering Committee will be established and will call for tenders in the coming weeks.

The Premier wrote to the Prime Minister on the 14th of May 2008 - the 65th anniversary of Centaur's sinking.

Transcript 16296