Historic ocean war horse could be scuttled at Burrum Heads
IF WE'RE successful in securing it, the HMAS Tobruk will be scuttled in waters almost halfway between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg and the estimate is within three months.
After being de-commissioned earlier this year, the heavy-lift ship's future has remained uncertain with Tasmania and Asian countries hoping to secure it.
A Regional Dive Wreck Advisory Group has been established to help the Wide Bay secure the ship as a military dive wreck.
Group representative Scott Rowe said the push for the ship to be scuttled here would need to overcome red and green tape.
Presenting the business case to the Chronicle, Mr Rowe said the effort to secure the ship would be worth the injection it would give to the economy.
"It's about a 12-month process to get it right to be sunk," he said.
"We presume a decision will be made within the next three months on the future of the ship."
Mr Rowe hopes to meet with Defence Minister Kevin Andrews next week to push the Wide Bay's wish for the ship.
Local dive expert Syd Tanner sits on the advisory group with Mr Rowe.
He said the clarity and calmness of the Sandy Strait made it a perfect spot for the scuttling of the ship.
"If we could secure something like this it would be a major boost for the region's marine tourism," he said.
The initial cost of securing the vessel is expected to be about $5 million but the injection into the Fraser Coast economy is predicted to be about $1 million each year for about 50 years.
If the Tobruk is secured by our region it will be sunk in water 34 metres deep off Burrum Heads.