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

    Divers ready to explore ex-HMAS Tobruk

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

    Friday, February 08, 2019

    Divers ready to explore ex-HMAS Tobruk

    The new world-class ex-HMAS Tobruk dive site will be ready for divers to explore on February 25, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch has announced today.

    In Hervey Bay to make the announcement today, Minister Enoch said hundreds of people were already lined-up to explore the new dive site.

    “The former Royal Australian Navy ship is about to become a major tourist drawcard for the Wide Bay region,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The wreck is expected to generate about $1.7 million for the local economy annually and support between 20 and 30 jobs in the region.

    “Following the scuttling last year, the ship has been transformed into a magnificent marine ecosystem, providing homes and shelter for hundreds of species of fish, including grouper, trevally and wrasse along with molluscs, hard corals and various species of ray.”

    Since the scuttling, preparation work has been completed to cut 10 additional holes into the ship, to help provide natural light and improve access for divers, and some areas were sealed off for safety reasons.

    “From today, people are able to book a dive at this magnificent site,” Ms Enoch said.

    Dive operator Ed Gibson from Hervey Bay Dive Centre, who recently explored ex-HMAS Tobruk, said he was looking forward to taking groups out.

    “I am very excited for this opportunity and am looking forward to taking people diving on this amazing wreck,” he said.

    Glenn Bowman from Tobruk Dive Centre said this was an exciting time for the region.

    “This will be one of the best dive wrecks in Australia,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting out there and diving.”

    Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor George Seymour said the community was looking forward to the opening of the dive site.

    “Tourism is a major employer and economic driver on the Fraser Coast so the development of new attractions to entice visitors to the region is very welcome,” Mayor Seymour said.

    “I look forward to working with the State Government on campaigns to promote the dive wreck nationally and internationally.”

    Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said the waters lapping the shores of the region are producing opportunities to create a wealth of visitor experiences.

    “The availability of the ex-HMAS Tobruk as a wreck-dive experience supports other attractions including our proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the iconic Mon Repos Turtle Rookery,” Mayor Dempsey said.

    “It is clear that ex-HMAS Tobruk presents as a unique and extremely attractive dive site and brings with it possibilities to market our region to the world.”

    Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was investing $1 million dollars in the Wide Bay region to promote its tourism opportunities.

    “The dive site will be a major drawcard for national and international visitors to the region who want to witness an ocean wonderland up close,” she said.

    To book a dive, take a virtual tour of the vessel, or for more information, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/exhmastobruk

     

    Media contact: 0417 768 626

     

    Note for media: Video footage is available for download here: Divers assessing ex-HMAS Tobruk

     

    Fast facts:

    • Ex-HMAS Tobruk is a Royal Australian Navy ship that provided great service to the Australian community throughout its 34 years until 2015
    • Ex-HMAS Tobruk rests in 28.5 metres of water
    • Fishing and spearfishing at or near the dive site is illegal
    • Hervey Bay Dive Centre, Bundaberg Aqua Scuba’s, Lady Musgrave Experience and Dive Hervey Bay are licenced take divers to the site
    • Divers with their own equipment can book a two hour timeslot online to access the site.
    • A 600m exclusion zone exists around the dive site to protect divers entering or exiting the water