Wide Bay not the only contender for HMAS Tobruk

THE bid to have the ex-HMAS Tobruk scuttled in Wide Bay waters has now been opened to all of Queensland.

It comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed on Wednesday the state government would be involved in the tender process for the ex-military vessel.

RELATED: Second ship could become Wide Bay's military dive wreck

The Wide Bay will be "carefully considered" as a potential dive wreck site alongside other options, which now include the Gold Coast, she said.

The cargo ship HMAS Tobruk may be scuttled in the Great Sandy Strait in a few years.
The cargo ship HMAS Tobruk may be scuttled in the Great Sandy Strait in a few years. Contributed

Consultations with local governments interested in scuttling the ex-HMAS Tobruk are expected to begin soon.

While the Regional Dive Wreck Advisory group has lobbied the Federal Government since August last year to gift the decommissioned ship to Queensland to create a military dive between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg, group member Scott Rowe said he now expected other contenders across the state to bid for the ship.

"We will have to fight hard and prove why we will do the vessel justice," Mr Rowe said.

"I guess money will talk ...we would love the backing from all politicians."

The group called for the Premier to accept the ship in advance from the Federal Government following a decision by Minister for Defence Marise Payne earlier this month to gift it and the ex-HMAS Sydney to the states or territory.

A heated battle raged between the Break O'Day Council in Tasmania and the Regional Dive Wreck Advisory group as the Defence Department considered disposal options for the former Navy vessel.

Selling the ship for scrap metal and gifting it to a neighbouring Navy were considered as disposal options.
 


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