Work on Australia’s new $120 million Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator, moved from the drafting table to the shipyard today.

Cutting the steel for the vessel started in Singapore, heralding a new era in marine and atmospheric research for scientists.

Australia’s ocean territory is the third largest in the world and includes unique biodiversity and valuable resources and marine science is critical for the sustainable management of our ocean assets.

Not an exact representation of the new vessel – but this gives you an idea of how she will look.

The Executive Director of the Future Research Vessel Project at CSIRO, Toni Moate, who is attending the steel cutting ceremony in Singapore, said the 93.6 metre research vessel will be capable of conducting marine research from our coastal waters, to the Antarctic ice edge and to the tropical waters to the north.

The contract to design, build and commission the vessel was awarded to Teekay Holdings Australia, which partnered with the Sembawang Shipyard in Singapore because of its track record and strong commitment to new technologies and innovation.

“The equipment on board our new world-class vessel will for the first time allow Australian scientists to carry out advanced atmospheric research on board the Marine National Facility,” Ms Moate said.

“It will also be capable of mapping the seafloor six kilometres below the surface, conducting deep water coring to 24 metres and it will have the latest satellite communications technology.”

Investigator will be operated by CSIRO and will be available to all Australian marine scientists. It replaces the existing Marine National Facility ship, Southern Surveyor, which is 40 years old.

In 2009 the Australian Government committed AU$120 million to the purchase of a new research vessel for the Marine National Facility. The project is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the Super Science Initiative and financed from the Education Investment Fund.

Media: Sarah Schofield. Ph: +61 3 6232 5197. Mb: 0417 028 016. E:


  1. Thanks for the notice and could I suggest a welcome gesture to the taxpayers who fund these vessels would be to offer an opportunity (only to those interested) of spending a day on board this vessel to see what happens on such a research vessel ?
    I am a retired Pharmacist and a Past President of the Pharmaceutical Society of NSW and I would be be delighted to have the opportunity to spend a day or more observing the science and practices of such a research vessel.

    1. Well George as a tax payer I wonder why it’s not built here. I hope it preforms better than the minesweper built a number of years ago. My father rejected that design replying to the navy/ Ministery defence that it was un sea worthy and with its present configeration would not take a sea and would not preform to specfercations . that vessel has never left the Heads the powers got someone else to build that lemon. Given the absurd idea of some insane profesor to introduce elephants to our enviroment to controwle / reduce fire incidence. Considering trhe deffening scielence from OUR scientists I wonder where we are heading.

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