Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc.
(A0020093K Victoria)  ABN 46 291 176 191
 
Former HMVS Cerberus
 
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Excerpt from the book "The Rush to be Rich" by Dr Geoffrey Serle, a history of Victoria in the late 19th Century, Page 201 Chapter 6: 

"... Early in March the imperial government indicated that a Victorian force might well be welcome later in the year for service in the Sudan.

But the proposal was ignored in the following months of crisis when it was believed that war with Russia was almost inevitable. Victoria was carrying out an armament programme which was far in advance of any other Australian colony. After early enthusiasm in the fifties and sixties, colonial defences had been allowed to deteriorate. The colonial Navy - the ironclad Nelson and Cerberus - was 'an utter and entire sham', the Victorian Governor reported in 1880, saying, 'The two hundred and fifty men cannot be really effective sailors for they never go to sea from one year's end to another and the boilers of both ships are in such a state that it would hardly be safe to send either outside the Heads ... as fighting ships they are useless as they can neither of them go more than about seven knots ...'

After the departure of the last imperial troops in 1870, the colony relied only on its Volunteer Forces on which a royal commission in 1875 had reported scathingly."

Click here for a video showing the exterior and interior of the present rusting hulk of the Cerberus.

Click here for a commentary by the Public Land Consultancy.
Extract from the Minutes of the Sixth Annual General Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc, held on 16th October 1995:
 
REMAINS OF HMVS CERBERUS 
Resolved (Clark/Goode) that it be PPCC Inc. policy in relation to the future of the former HMVS Cerberus presently at Half Moon Bay that it not be restored at its present Black Rock site, but at a site along with other maritime heritage where suitable visitor facilities can be provided without significant environmental degradation resulting.
Extract from the Minutes of the 55th Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc. Committee of Management, held on 12th February 1996:
 
FORMER HMVS CERBERUS 
Resolved (Warfe/Goode) that PPCC Inc. write to the Minister for Conservation, with a copy being sent to the Chairman of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), stating the policy of the PPCC Inc. on the future of the remains of the former HMVS Cerberus resolved at the 1995 Annual General Meeting, and advocating 
(a)    that the prime emphasis should be on the conservation of the natural landscape of Half Moon Bay 
(b)    that the future presentation to the public of the remains of the former HMVS Cerberus should take place at
        another less environmentally valuable site, and 
(c)    that any components or materials of or associated with the former ship that cannot be practicably or
        economically moved to another site for presentation should be disposed of in a manner acceptable to the
        Environment Protection Authority of Victoria.
Extracts from the minutes of the 56th Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc. Committee of Management, held on 11th March 1996:
 
OBSERVERS 
Hon. Geoffrey Connard MLC, Member for Higinbotham Province; Mr Simon Molesworth AM QC, Chairman of the Council of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria); and Dr John Ross, Liberal candidate for Higinbotham Province. 

FORMER HMVS CERBERUS REMAINS 
Mr Simon Molesworth spoke on the proposal he favours for presentation and staged restoration of the remains of the former Victorian naval ship HMVS Cerberus. He described her as "Australia's most historic shipwreck", and outlined plans, endorsed by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), to support the remains so as to reduce further deterioration and to enable visitors to inspect them safely. He said the ship's original displacement was about 3,400 tons, but that the remains are little more than half that mass. He mentioned that the ship had cost 140,000 to build in 1866.

Extract from the minutes of the 5th Ordinary General Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc, held on 8th April 1996:
 
REMAINS OF HMVS CERBERUS 
Resolved (Yeates/Warfe) that this General Meeting endorses the resolution of the February 1995 meeting of the PPCC Inc. Committee relating to the remains of the former HMVS Cerberus. 

Resolved (Goode/Warfe) that PPCC Inc. notes that the loss of the remains of the of the former HMVS Cerberus may occur, which is regretted, but PPCC Inc. considers that such a loss is preferable to the environmental damage and alteration that would occur at this site if the proposed preservation of the remains at Black Rock were to occur. 

Moved (Yeates) and seconded (Ross) that this General Meeting urges the Victorian Government to quickly determine the fate of those portions of the fomer HMVS Cerberus that are capable of salvage and relocation, in the belief that what remains of this vessel is of great historical value. After some debate it was moved and resolved (Yeates/Warfe) that the motion be put. The motion was then put and carried.

Extract from the minutes of the 61st Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council Inc. Committee of Management, held on 9th September 1996:
 
FORMER HMVS CERBERUS 
Mr Cliff Sanguinetti of 14 Ebden Avenue, Black Rock, having contacted the Secretary in time for the matter to be placed on the agenda, was invited to attend this PPCC Inc. Committee meeting, at which he described the occasion when he and a friend, Mr Andrew Allison, of 22 Potter Street, Black Rock, had seen the former HMVS Cerberus scuttled in Half Moon Bay on 2nd September 1926. He also showed a photograph of Half Moon Bay as it was before the Cerberus arrived there, and he told of the loss of beach sand and shore that began to develop after the Cerberus had been placed there.

 www.ppcc.org.au