UNDER THE SEA: Photos reveal what the Tobruk looks like as she rests on the sea floor.
UNDER THE SEA: Photos reveal what the Tobruk looks like as she rests on the sea floor. Contributed

Govt reveals start date for Tobruk dive site

THE 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 this morning.

In Hervey Bay to make the announcement, 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.

 

FINAL GOODBYES: ex-HMAS Tobruk leaves Bundaberg Port on her way to her final resting place off the coast of Wide Bay.
FINAL GOODBYES: ex-HMAS Tobruk leaves Bundaberg Port on her way to her final resting place off the coast of Wide Bay. Ben Turnbull

"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."

READ: Tobruk correction could take 10 years off dive site life.

READ: Only option to give Tobruk its 'wow' factor.

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."

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said the waters lapping the shores of the region were 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," Cr 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



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