TOBRUK REFUND: State Govt's payout to council revealed
THE Fraser Coast Regional Council has received about a third of its $1million contribution to the scuttling of ex-HMAS Tobruk back from the State Government.
Briefing notes from the Department of Environment and Science reveal the repayment was one of several recommendations made after the fallout from the scuttling of the ex-navy vessel.
The notes, obtained by the LNP earlier this month, reveal both councils received $350,000 from the remaining unspent contributions.
Out of the total $10 million injected into the project - including $8 million from the State Government - the September briefing notes revealed $2.4 million of "unallocated project funds" remained.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour told the Chronicle the money would be banked and used to "offset future maintenance costs" at the site.
He said the money was a welcome offer as the council did not expect any of the money back.
"Tourism is a major employer and economic driver on the Fraser Coast and the Tobruk will add another attraction to bring visitors to the region," Cr Seymour said.
Cr Seymour said the Hervey Bay Dive Centre would be taking people for dive tours out on the wreck in the near future.
Since the vessel was scuttled in June, the debate has raged in parliament over the need to correct the ship's position.
Tourism operators have voiced concerns dive opportunities on the site are now limited after the ship rolled 90 degrees onto its starboard side.
But the briefing notes reveal attempting to right the ship would present "an unacceptable and significant level of risk to the ship's structural integrity" and would cost too much and take too long to correct.
In October, the State Government announced it would provide $1 million towards a marketing campaign to boost tourism opportunities for the wreck.