Tobruk got here quick but now it could be a two year wait
EX-HMAS Tobruk is now in Wide Bay waters and is available for viewing.
It is berthed at the Port of Bundaberg and everyone can have a look at it as the giant navy ship stands just metres away from the public area.
Tobruk arrived at the port just over a week after it was announced that our region had won the rights to have it turned into a dive site.
But the next stage in the process is going to take much longer.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said it was estimated that it would be anywhere from 18 months to two years before Tobruk would be scuttled off Burrum Heads.
"There are many factors to take into consideration when preparing a vessel such as Tobruk for scuttling - not only are there materials that need to be removed from the ship, there could be doors that need to be removed, openings created for divers to swim through and there are environmental factors when determining the final site,” he said.
"So it could be late 2018 (when it's sunk).”
After it gets determined the exact processes that need to be done to Tobruk, the State Government will put out a tender for the project.
"There is already discussion about the development of a museum for Tobruk in Hervey Bay focusing on her history, active service and new role as a dive site to give land-based tourists an opportunity to experience the HMAS Tobruk,” Mr Pitt said.
And when Tobruk is ready for sinking, the day it is ready to go underwater will be a giant spectacle.
"When the HMAS Adelaide was scuttled in 2011 it attracted a crowd of more than 30,000 people,” Mr Pitt said.
"While it's very early days, I imagine Tobruk could attract people from across the globe.”
What will be extremely unique about Tobruk is that the ship's height will make the swim down to the shipwreck appealing for both beginner and advance divers.
There will also be the unique ability of swimming right through its centre from top to bottom.
The process to secure Tobruk in our waters was almost two years in the making.
In February last year, the Australian Defence Force made the announcement that Tobruk may be created into a marine tourist attraction which prompted Mr Pitt to begin the negotiation process.
In July last year, the battle was prominently between Wide Bay and Tasmania.
From then on, it was community support, groups and politicians that rallied for the vessel.
News that Tobruk will be sunk off Burrum Heads came on December 2.
Thousands watched as Tobruk arrived in the Bundaberg Port on December 12.