Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs LOUISE MARKUS MP has marked today’s memorial ceremony at Subic Bay by calling on the Federal government to fund a search for the Montevideo Maru
The unveiling of a new plaque to commemorate Australian prisoners of war and civilians lost when the Montevideo Maru sank after being torpedoed off the Philippines in World War II is welcomed.
The sinking of the Montevideo Maru with the loss of 1053 Australian prisoners of war and civilians on I July 1942 is the greatest single tragedy in Australia’s maritime history but more importantly it is one of our lesser known.
Those who perished had been previously captured and held
by the Japanese at Rabaul on the Island of New Britain
It is important to thank and acknowledge those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, a sacrifice that has contributed to the peace we enjoy today.
But there is still more to do for the families of these heroes. I urge the Australian Government to do everything that it can to locate the resting place of the Montevideo Maru.
In April 2008 a spokesperson for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd said the Government would consider the idea of a fundraising appeal to find the ship.
In June 2009 my parliamentary colleague Steve Ciobo tabled a series of petitions on behalf of 1,295 Australians calling on the Rudd Government to fund the search for the ship.
I call on the Government to respond so that families who lost their loved ones can have closure.