HMAS Tobruk at sea. Photo: contributed
HMAS Tobruk at sea. Photo: contributed contributed

Labor victory will sink our bid for Tobruk

THE campaign to scuttle the ex-HMAS Tobruk off the coast between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay would appear to be sunk under a Labor Government.

On Friday the ALP promised Tasmania $10 million towards its proposal to turn the Tobruk into a dive site if it wins Federal government.

The Labor election pledge was part of a new $44 million Tasmania Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support the state's tourism industry and build attractions that would entice tourists and create local jobs.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten (inset) said the $10 million towards Tasmania's Tobruk bid would be one of the first four grants from the fund.

Hinkler's Labor candidate Tim Lawson said the Tobruk tender process was complex.

"Hinkler is not the only area vying to get the Tobruk sunk in their area," he said.

"At the moment it's fairly competitive.

"If we don't get it, well we live beside the greatest national reef in the world; it's not going to be the end of the world if we don't get the Tobruk here. We've already got the Great Barrier Reef.

"If we do get it, it will be nice. If we don't get it, it's not going to be such a big deal.

"If we haven't got the money and somebody outbids us, well then it's done and dusted."

Mr Lawson said living beside one of the Seven Wonders of the World already attracted tourists to the region.

"Even if we did pay a lot of money to get it here, is it going to be worth it in the long run?" he asked.

"Or do we just utilise what we've already got?"

Queensland Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson, as well as Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt have all thrown their support behind the bid to sink the Tobruk in Wide Bay waters.

In October last year Mr Pitt said Wide Bay was the obvious choice over Tasmania.

"HMAS Tobruk should not be sent to the scrap metal yard or to a freezing, dark, watery grave in a place like Tasmania," he said.

"The Wide Bay Burnett is the ideal resting place for HMAS Tobruk."