New state-of-the-art vessel joins the Great Barrier Reef fleet

It is big, fast, and about revolutionise field activities in the vast Great Barrier Reef — meet the new $9.7 million state-of-the-art Reef Resilience vessel, which was unveiled in Gladstone today.

The 24-metre Reef Resilience, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Reef Joint Field Management Program, enters service next week from the homeport of Gladstone.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and the Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon officially launched the Reef Resilience this morning.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley and the Queensland Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon officially launched the Reef Resilience this morning.

This impressive vessel will substantially increase our capacity for field operations, across a massive area that is exposed to challenging weather conditions and can be difficult to access in less capable vessels.

The vessel will be used for compliance patrols, field activities, field activities with Traditional Owners and Indigenous rangers, protected species management, and incident response.

The Reef Resilience at a glance:

  • Will service the Great Barrier Reef from its home port in Gladstone
  • Can cruise at 20 knots, can cover more than 2000 nautical miles
  • Uses solar panels mounted on the roof to maximize the use of available renewable energy and reduce environmental impact
  • Accommodates up to 16 people for overnight voyages
  • Can carry additional support vessels and up to six tonnes of cargo on the upper deck
  • It is capable of reaching the remotest locations in the southern Great Barrier Reef and delivering multiple tasks simultaneously.

The Reef Resilience — along with a similar vessel already operating in the northern part of the Reef —means the entire World Heritage Area is benefitting from more compliance, surveying, and research.

For over 40 years, the Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef Joint Field Management Program has planned and executed field operations in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The addition of the Reef Resilience is part of the Program’s significant expansion, with additional funding, more vessels, and more staff to better undertake fieldwork and incident response in this iconic and vast World Heritage Area.