HMAS Sydney find raises funding questions

The guns of the HMAS Sydney photographed on the sea floor about 2470 metres below the surface of the Indian Ocean (Source: Reuters/Finding Sydney Foundation)

By Dani Cooper

Some of Australia's most important watery war graves could be located for about one-tenth of the cost of finding the HMAS Sydney, the nation's most high-profile naval shipwreck, a researcher says.

Associate Professor Mark Staniforth, a maritime archaeologist from Adelaide's Flinders University, says last month's discovery of the HMAS Sydney, sunk off the coast of Western Australia, is enormously significant for Australia.

But he says the A$4.5 million (US$4 million) the federal government invested for the search is dead money because no infrastructure remains in public hands to do further searches.

Staniforth says if the government spends A$500,000, this could buy a base suite of equipment, including multi-beam echo sounder, sonar sounder and magnetometer.



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