WAITING GAME: The State Government has been criticised over delays in scuttling ex-HMAS Tobruk.
WAITING GAME: The State Government has been criticised over delays in scuttling ex-HMAS Tobruk. Trevor Walden

Tobruk progress in the firing line

THE "slow" progress of the ex-HMAS Tobruk from a warship to an international dive site has come under scrutiny in state and federal parliaments.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt in Federal Parliament this week told the State Government to "Get on with this project, get the work underway, and let's get it in place."

He said the Tobruk was delivered to Bundaberg's port in December 2016 and remains tied up to the wharf in the Burnett River.

"Work has not commenced," Mr Pitt said.

"The cynical side of me is looking at this and saying surely they are not waiting for a state election for this project to commence.

"We desperately need jobs in our area.

"The money is in the budget and the project should be underway - it should be underway now."

"When the ship was delivered, I clearly remember I stood up and said 'Christmas for our region has come early.'

"I hope it isn't another Christmas before these jobs are provided..."


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Mr Pitt's call was backed in State Parliament yesterday by Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, who asked Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk a question without notice.

After tabling a document titled, "Bundaberg not the best place for Tobruk ship to be prepared for scuttling, bureaucrat says," Mr Bennett asked, "Premier, after 12 months why have no local contractors been awarded any significant contracts in relation to scuttling the Tobruk?"

Ms Palaszczuk said she was pleased they were able to secure that project for the region.

"We all worked very hard to deliver it and we will ensure that everything that is done," Ms Palaszczuk said before being interrupted by MP Jarrod Bleijie.

"You know that you dredged the wrong spot, right?" he said.

"You know that you put the dredger in the wrong spot?"

"I take that interjection from the Member for Kawana," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"The Minister for Tourism just mentioned to me that at the time people wanted the Tobruk to go to Tasmania.

"Malcolm Turnbull wanted it to go to Tasmania, but we fought for Queensland. We love fighting for Queensland in this state, unlike those opposite. In relation to that, we will continue to work with people to ensure that all the processes are done and to make sure that the work is carried out."