Expressions of interest from dive operators are now being accepted by the State Government.
Expressions of interest from dive operators are now being accepted by the State Government. Mike Knott

Govt calls for expressions of interest from dive operators

DIVING and snorkelling businesses now have the chance to express their interest to the State Government in using the soon-to-be scuttled ex-HMAS Tobruk.

The former naval ship is set to be scuttled off the coast of Burrum Heads mid-2018, which will allow for recreational divers to explore the vessel through bookings with commercial operators.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said it was a great opportunity for experienced businesses to apply.

"The unique dive site will attract tourists from around Australia and the world, with divers able to explore the nooks and crannies of an historic ex-navy ship," Ms Enoch said.

"Successful applicants from the EOI process will be able to apply for a Commercial Access Agreement to access this exclusive dive opportunity."

Ms Enoch said the dive site would add another drawcard to the region, in addition to other nature-based tourism sites such as Fraser Island, Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, Hervey Bay's whale watching and the wetlands in the Great Sandy Strait.

Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the recreational diving at the ex-HMAS Tobruk site would become one of Queensland's must-see tourism destinations.

"We know how important new attractions are when it comes to driving visitation," Ms Jones said.

"This unique new offering will attract tourists to the region and will undoubtedly give a real boost to the local economy. Divers will be able to experience one of Australia's best military wrecks, in one of Australia's best destinations."