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This Week’s Highlight: Design and Construct Class 6 Twin Hull Dive Vessel

NSW has a large and busy coastline leading to an expansive system of waterways. From the earliest days of settlement, it has required a dedicated water-based policing service.

The Marine Area Command (MAC) of the NSW Police Force now requires a twin-hull vessel for use as a platform for dive operations, sonar operations, and salvage.

Its Request For Proposals (RFP) invites expressions of interest/preliminary proposals from highly experienced operators in the marine industry to design and construct a Class 6 Twin Hull Dive Vessel. The vessel must meet detailed specifications and achieve speed and range criteria.

The state’s Water Police hold the distinction of being the first civilian form of policing set up in NSW. In 1789, one year after the colony was founded, Governor Phillip created a Row Boat Guard to patrol Sydney Cove for smugglers and convicts attempting to pass letters to ships anchored in the harbour.

Initiated more than 200 years later, MAC continues the tradition, and its responsibility extends from all the state’s coastal areas to 200 nautical miles out to sea. Based at Balmain on Sydney Harbour, MAC strategically places vessels and personnel at important commercial and leisure ports on the state’s coastline. It deploys operational water police, a marine intelligence unit, a marine crime prevention officer, divers, detectives, and the marine operational support team (MOST).

The Water Police entered the “modern era” of combustion engines In the late-19th century with two steam launches, the Biloela, and the Argus. These remained in use for about 35 years before motor launches replaced them. With the introduction of MAC in 1999, NSW Police fitted its sea-going craft and smaller boats with electronic navigational aids.

There is no multi-agency access for the Class 6 Twin Hull Dive Vessel RFP, and MAC may use the expressions of interest/preliminary proposals to shortlist tenderers along with other criteria such as expertise and experience.

The closing date for responses is 12pm 5 May 2023.

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