VARS Update - 29th March 2008
The Deed of Gift is moving closer to signature by both State and Federal Governments. A major milestone has now been achieved with the site position now agreed between all parties. This agreement was required prior to the signing of the Deed document. It is expected that this second major milestone is now only weeks from being completed.
Site Management - Convenor: Alan Beckhurst
A white paper has now been prepared outlining a possible site management plan. Input was sought from across the dive industry in preparation of this white paper. Government authorities have now appointed a consultant to further investigate and provide a report.
Ship Preparation - Convenor: Jason Salter
As outline in the last update the bulk of this work will occur once the tenderer has been formally announced. At this stage the key tasks will be to coordinate with the successful tenderer to ensure that ship is correctly prepared to maximise diving enjoyment and safety.
Fund Raising / Membership - Convenor: Warrick McDonald
VARS is now approaching the stage when volunteers will be able to become active. Additionally, it is also the time when further funds are likely to be required as the work ramps up.
Marketing / Promotion - Convenor: Bryan McGoldrick
The groundwork for a marketing plan has been put together. Activities are now underway to secure appropriate funding to put the plan into action.
Agreement on a resting place for the Canberra has now been reached between all stakeholders. The agreed site is in an area about 1 nautical mile WNW of the J4. Average depth is 28 metres. This will mean that the wreck will be able to be accessed by all levels of divers as the main deck will be in 18 metres.
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The Victorian Artificial Reef Society (VARS) is the non-profit, volunteer Victorian dive community group behind the push to secure, prepare, sink and dive the ex HMAS Canberra as an artificial reef and wreck dive site for Victoria. All major groups in the Victorian scuba diving industry, plus the Victorian sport diving club, have recognised VARS as their voice on all matters relating to the ex HMAS Canberra Reef.
For more information on VARS and the ex HMAS Canberra Reef project, please visit http://www.hmascanberra.com.au.
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