A South West MP is hoping to have Bunbury’s name at sea once again, launching a petition to have one of the nation’s latest navy vessels named in honour of the port city’s seafaring heritage.
Forrest MHR Nola Marino is calling for one of the latest Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessels to be named HMAS Bunbury III and to have Bunbury as its ceremonial home port.
“There’s a rich history of service from ships named HMAS Bunbury,” Mrs Marino said.
“The first was a Bathurst-class corvette launched in 1942, seeing war service in the Pacific theatre and in the Indian Ocean.
“The second HMAS Bunbury was a Fremantle-class patrol boat commencing service in 1978 until her decommissioning in February 2006.
Twelve of the OPVs were commissioned to replace the Royal Australian Navy’s current fleet of Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats.
The first of these vessels was built in South Australia, the HMAS Arafura set to enter service this year, while HMAS Eyre nears completion.
The remaining 10 vessels will be built in WA and Mrs Marino has launched a petition to name one of these ships to honour Bunbury.
“The value in having a new HMAS Bunbury lies in fostering a special connection between the City of Bunbury with its strategic port, and the Australian Navy,” Mrs Marino said.