Tobruk to become dive wreck

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), POIS Paul Berry (photographer), ABIS Kayla Hayes (photographer), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Bundaberg, Queensland, Hervey Bay, Queensland

Topic(s): HMAS Tobruk (II)

HMAS Tobruk sails out of Sydney Harbour for the last time just days before decommissioning (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
HMAS Tobruk sails out of Sydney Harbour for the last time just days before decommissioning

Home to many thousands of Australian Defence Force members over the past three and a half decades, the former HMAS Tobruk will now be home to sealife and recreational divers.

Tobruk
 will continue to serve Australia — now as a tourist destination — when it will be scuttled off the coast between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay as a dive wreck.

Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan has announced the former Royal Australian Navy Landing Ship will be provided to the Queensland Government to be scuttled.

Mr Tehan said it marked the final chapter for the ship which served Australia since her commissioning in 1981.

“She will be fondly remembered by all those who served in Tobruk and those who have been supported by the many operational and humanitarian deployments she undertook,” he said.

“The scuttling of Tobruk in the Wide Bay Burnett area will be a permanent monument to Tobruk’s proud history and a reminder she served as her motto intended ‘Faithful and Strong’.”

Federal Member for Hinkler and Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt said the hard-fought battle for more than three years had finally paid off.

“Christmas has come early for the Wide-Bay Burnett region. This dive wreck will not only bring domestic and international visitors to the region; it will bring much needed long-term, sustainable jobs and a future for the next generation,” he said.

“That has always been the driver behind this campaign: more jobs for this region, with an economic boost of $4 million per year.

“This dive wreck will no doubt become one of the country’s premier diving sites, potentially attracts thousands of divers each year,” Mr Pitt said.

“Our community will now be home to an important part of Australia’s military history that will also attract tourists from around the world.”

“I believe that Defence assets that are paid for by the Australian people can, and should, continue to serve the community long after they are no longer of use to the military.

“The Wide Bay-Burnett is the ideal resting place for Tobruk, and I look forward to the opportunities this dive wreck will bring to Hinkler,” Mr Pitt said.