Works to refurbish the historic submarine HMAS Ovens will begin early next year, with the Western Australian Museum publishing a tender for a suitably qualified contractor to undertake the works this week.

The project will be funded through the McGowan Government’s $3.522 million investment into a range of restoration and revitalization works in the historic Victoria Quay precinct over the next two and half years. The restoration of HMAS Ovens is the largest single element of this project.

The submarine, which is a major attraction at the WA Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay, Fremantle, formed an important part of Australia’s maritime defense for over 30 years. After decommissioning in 1995, the submarine was gifted to the WA Museum and docked on the historic Victoria Quay slipway.

Today, HMAS Ovens operates as a visitor attraction with daily tours conducted by a team of dedicated volunteers. Since opening as a tourist attraction, approximately half a million visitors have toured the inside of the submarine, with many more viewing the vessel from the outside as part of their WA Maritime Museum experience.

It is anticipated the submarine will temporarily close in early 2023, to allow for essential repair works to be completed. Painting of the submarine will be carried out during autumn 2023, when weather conditions will be most favorable. HMAS Ovens is expected reopen to the public in mid-2023.

Western Australian Museum photo