A WESTERN Australian boat builder has received the tender to build a new patrol vessel that will operate in the state’s northern waters.
Mid West business Dongara Marine will build the fisheries patrol vessel under the state government’s $13.7 million investment in a new patrol boat.
It will replace the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s aging patrol vessel Walcott, which is now 25 years old.
The state government said a fit-for-purpose fleet of research and patrol vessels is essential to the ongoing sustainability of the WA fishing industry and the state’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
The new 24-metre patrol vessel will be designed to have a longer fuel range for extended voyages, low engine emissions and improved living conditions compared to the Walcott.
The vessel is expected to be able to conduct extended voyages of up to 14 days with accommodation and food storage for 10 people.
It would have a more efficient hull design with twin keels to provide improved stability and reduced roll, the latest navigation equipment and infra-red night vision to support search and research and night-time patrols.
It will also have a 5.5-metre tender to conduct inspections and boardings at sea.
Once complete, the patrol vessel will be based in Broome and used for a range of core government roles including domestic fisheries compliance, marine park management, shark incident response, marine safety, sea search and rescue, whale disentanglement and illegal foreign fishing interception.
“Research, stock assessment and monitoring, and compliance work underpins the sustainability of our state’s valuable fisheries,” Fisheries and Regional Development minister Don Punch said.
“It is vital that we have a fit-for-purpose fleet of patrol and research vessels to support this work along WA’s 12,000 kilometres of coastline.
“In WA we have some of the best small to medium sized boat builders in the country and I am pleased to be at Dongara Marine today where the new patrol vessel will be built.
“Investing in projects which support regional manufacturing also helps to generate local employment, in this case in the boat building and maintenance industry in the Mid West.”
Work on the new vessel is expected to begin in October with completion slated for September 2025.