Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Ex-HMAS Tobruk scuttling date revealed

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Friday, June 15, 2018

    Ex-HMAS Tobruk scuttling date revealed

    A new world-class dive site is moving full-steam ahead, with the Palaszczuk Government revealing that the scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk could take place as early as next Tuesday.

    Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said Tuesday, June 19, has been identified as a potential scuttle date, depending on weather conditions.

    “The ex-navy ship has been undergoing preparations to become a world-class dive site for the past eight months,” Ms Enoch said.

    “It’s exciting that in four days it could be on the ocean floor in Great Sandy Marine Park, halfway between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

    “But this proposed scuttling date is dependent on weather and could be subject to change at the last minute.”

    Ms Enoch said the scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk is a joint project between the Palaszczuk Government and the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils.

    “It’s wonderful ex-HMAS Tobruk will become the next addition to Queensland’s vast portfolio of tourist attractions, and I know this will be a unique opportunity for divers from all over the world,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The logistics involved in scuttling a huge ex-navy ship is extremely complex and the safety of crew and the environment are our number one priority.

    “For this same reason, particularly during whale season, there will be no explosives used during the scuttling.

    “The ship will be flooded with water via pneumatically operated valves, and is expected to take around an hour to fully sink.

    “We will also have Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service staff keeping a look out for marine life on the day,” Ms Enoch said.

    Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the scuttling of the ex-HMAS Tobruk opens a new chapter for tourism in the Wide Bay region.

    “With the scuttling of Tobruk, we are creating a unique, world-class dive attraction, which will generate significant spending and flow-on economic benefits to the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg,” she said.

    “Tourism is a $25 billion industry for the state, and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing the tourism industry to support regional economies and create jobs for Queenslanders.”

    Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey acknowledged the critical role Maritime Safety Queensland played in readying the ship for its final voyage.

    “Maritime Safety Queensland ensured safety remained foremost in all aspects of the project,” Mr Bailey said.

    “They provided specialist nautical advice in preparing, towing and ultimately scuttling the ship.

    “There were significant logistical and operational challenges in preparing the Tobruk while in a busy working port such as Bundaberg.

    “These were kept to a minimum thanks to the co-operation and goodwill of port users and the Gladstone Port Corporation.  

    “Importantly Maritime Safety Queensland confirmed the Tobruk’s final resting place was outside major shipping routes and posed no risk to commercial and recreational vessels operating in Hervey Bay.”

    Project Manager Steven Hoseck explained that there will be a 500m exclusion zone surrounding the ship for any unauthorised vessels and drones, which will be policed on the day.

    “The scuttling will begin at approximately 10am, subject to no wildlife passing through, and will take up to one hour.

    “Spectators viewing the scuttling from their vessel on the day can tune into marine VHF channel 68 for updates during the event.

    “We will issue an alert giving spectators five minutes warning of the sinking so spectators can get photos of the main event, however it is important to remember that this will be a drone free event,” Mr Hoseck said.


    NOTE: This date is subject to change last minute depending on weather events. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will provide updates if necessary.


    Media contact: 0437 859 987