Garden Island Defence Precinct, Sydney
The Hammerhead Crane (HHC) is located on Fleet Base East (FBE) wharf FBE1 North (FBE1N). The FBE wharves together with the other wharves in the wider Garden Island Defence Precinct (GIDP) provide the homeport for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) major fleet units based on the east coast of Australia. The GIDP is an enduring base supporting RAN operations and the projection of Australia's maritime power throughout the region.
The HHC was constructed between 1944-51 and is thus a relatively late addition to the much older heritage of Garden Island. It was originally constructed to assist with the fitting and removal of battleship turrets. It has not been used since 1996 and there is no present or future requirement for the HHC as Navy's heavy lifting requirements are fulfilled by commercial hire mobile cranes providing greater cost efficiency, lifting capacity and mobility/practicality.
Since 1996, the disused HHC has had only reactive maintenance, and its condition is deteriorating. Its continued existence in its present site, straddling Wharf FBE1, presents risks to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) of personnel in its vicinity and causes restrictions on the operational use of the FBE wharves. This results in significant impacts on the time, personnel effort and cost required to conduct various tasks affected by the obstruction and safety risks caused by the HHC.