HMAS Moreton

HMAS Moreton is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, responsible for providing administrative support to RAN personnel and visiting warships. It was originally established as a naval base located at New Farm, Brisbane in 1932, and was decommissioned in 1994; and recommissioned in 2016.[1]

HMAS Moreton
Brisbane, Queensland in Australia
HMAS Moreton
Location in Queensland
Coordinates27°27′00″S 153°03′30″E
TypeNaval base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defence
Operator Royal Australian Navy (1932  1967)
 Royal Australian Navy (1967  present)
Site history
In use
  • 1932  1994;
  • 2016  present
Garrison information
Commander Mark McConnell, RAN


At the outbreak of WWII in Europe, the Alice Street Naval Depot, the former Queensland Marine Defence Force Depot (QMDF) at the Domain, was commissioned as HMAS Penguin IV on 3 September 1939. Other sites that were used by the Royal Australian Navy at that time were the former QMDF offices at 3 Edward Street, where the Queensland District Naval Officer and his staff operated from. There was also a Naval Stores facility and oil fuel installation at Kangaroo Point.

On 1 August 1940, HMAS Penguin IV at Alice Street, the Domain was re-commissioned as HMAS Brisbane. It was later re-commissioned as HMAS Moreton on 1 October 1942. HMAS Moreton was tucked in along the Brisbane River behind the Queensland State Parliament buildings and what is now the site of the Queensland University of Technology QUT (previously QIT).

HMAS Moreton temporarily closed at the Domain in 1946 and the name HMAS Moreton transferred to the building at 3 Edward Street. HMAS Moreton reopened again at the Domain in 1949.

In 1959 RAN training was transferred to the former Navy Victualling Store at New Farm at the corner of Merthyr Road and Gray Street. The New Farm site was then commissioned as HMAS Moreton in 1960.

Post Vietnam the base was home to the Royal Australian Navy's amphibious forces including HMAS Tobruk and the Balikpapan-class landing craft.[2] For much of this time much of the army's amphibious capacity was based locally. Gallipoli Barracks based 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was Australia's lead amphibious assault unit whilst 35 Water Transport Squadron was based at Bulimba Barracks, Brisbane, Queensland with LCM.

HMAS Moreton was decommissioned in 1994 and many of its services relocated to Bulimba Barracks under the authority of Naval Headquarters Southern Queensland.[2] Naval amphibious forces are currently based at HMAS Kuttabul.

The site of the former base has been transformed into residential apartments. Two historic buildings associated with the base, the Commonwealth Acetate of Lime Factory and Amity, are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

As part of the partial disposal of Bulimba Barracks, Naval Headquarters Southern Queensland was renamed HMAS Moreton on 14 May 2016. At this time the establishment was staffed by a small number of personnel.[3]


Plans have been announced that Moreton will have a new gatehouse with improved security including CCTV. Construction is expected to commence late 2017 and be completed in early 2019.[4]

The proposed multi-user facility will be a two-storey structure that incorporates multipurpose spaces for training/meeting functions, and food preparation in support for the adjacent transit accommodation, and flexible working accommodation to suit the various lodger units that will be accommodated on the site It will contain flexible and generic spaces capable of alteration and flexible use on a regular basis. Spaces will not be permanently allocated to lodger units, and as such storage facilities will be provided sufficient to allow lodger units to maintain security or records and equipment. Transit accommodation will comprise a three-storey structure that incorporates flexible accommodation spaces for sixty personnel, including provision on the ground floor to accommodate persons with disabilities (PWD). The Transit Accommodation building replaces the existing three transit accommodation blocks that will be lost as a result of the disposal of the balance of the site. The proposed storage shelter facilities will provide flexible and adaptable storage to suit the needs of the various cadet units that will occupy the site. The storage will accommodate both controlled ‘weatherproof’ environments and open by secure shelters. These facilities will have limited servicing and no electronic security or communications provisions. Two training shelters will provide flexible and adaptable outdoor covered training areas to suit the needs of the various cadet units that will occupy the site and the facilities. The covered areas will accommodate up to twenty personnel and will be walled on three sides to optimise usability in all environments. Bench seating will also be provided around the perimeter of the space. These facilities will have limited servicing and no electronic security or communications provisions. The services and infrastructure required within the retained area of Moreton includes the connection of new potable water, sewer, stormwater and electrical services from existing utilities along Taylor Street to service new facilities on Moreton; installation of water and power meters to the retained Defence site; relocation of and access to Defence Restricted Network (DRN), Defence Secret Network (DSN), Defence Voice Network (DVN) and Cadet Net; relocation of visitor management system from old to new gatehouse; extension of Taylor Street to connect to the new entry gate; internal road network, tying in the new entry to the existing roads; pathways to interlink buildings within the new development area; reinforced grass area to be used as overflow car parking and cadets parade; minor repairs to ring road near the existing pontoon berth; appropriate landscaping; new Flagpole and signage for new front entry; and upgrade of security fencing along the western boundary of the residual Defence site. The proposed new boat ramp will allow for entry to the Brisbane River for small water craft to conduct training and operations. The boat ramp will include pavement, bollards, walls and road access suitable for typical small water craft requirements. Adjacent to the area will be hardstand for loading and unloading equipment associated with small water craft operations. The boat ramp replaces the existing boat ramp, outside the Moreton boundary, that will be lost with disposal of the balance of the site.[4]

See also


  1. "HMAS Moreton". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  2. "HMAS Moreton History". Royal Australian Navy. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  3. "Brisbane's Navy base commissions as HMAS Moreton" (Press release). Department of Defence. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  4. "HMAS Moreton Unit Relocation Project" (Press release). Department of Defence. 27 March 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
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