A WAR of words has broken out Down Under over the final resting place of the City of Adelaide.
The historic Wear-built clipper is South Australia-bound after the City of Adelaide Preservation Trust beat off a campaign to bring the ship back to Wearside.
But now, UK campaigners say their argument has been strengthened after a row broke out over where the ship will be moored when she reaches her destination.
The South Australian State Government’s urban renewal body, Renewal SA, has gifted land at Marina Adelaide, Largs North, to provide a permanent home for the ship.
But Adelaide’s paper, The Advertiser, says the trust and local politicians have rejected the site because it is 5km from the heart of the port.
Coun Bruce Johansen said the site was “in the backwaters” of the Port River.
“So much money has been spent getting the City of Adelaide to Port Adelaide and it was meant to be a big attraction for the area, but instead it looks like it will now just lay derelict in an area no one will visit,” he said.
City of Adelaide Preservation Trust director Peter Christopher admitted he was disappointed with the site on offer.
“Our group would have preferred a site in central Port Adelaide, but we are also appreciative of the fact we’ve been given this land,” he said.
“We have accepted the site from Renewal SA, but if another or better site became available before the ship’s arrival, we would explore other options. If the council had any other prime land available in the port that they are able to give to us, we would explore that option.”
Peter Maddison is chairman of Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Fund (Scarf), the group campaigning to bring the ship back to Sunderland.
“Scarf has always argued that Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Ltd did not have a site for the clipper in Port Adelaide,” he said.
“Neither did they have tangible political or public/business support at local/national level – now it has been confirmed.
“A backwater site has been reluctantly offered by the SA government. There is no life for the clipper on a backwater far from the city and the port.
“We must hold our nerve and keep fighting positively – our argument has received a massive boost today.”