It is now only a matter of months before ex-HMAS Tobruk will be scuttled as a dive wreck, meaning people have a final chance to hop on board during a community open weekend next month.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the community open weekend on May 5-7 would be a free event to allow the community and ex-service personnel to say goodbye to the ship.
“More than 2000 free tickets will be available, allowing visitors the opportunity to view the ship’s galley, engine room, troop’s quarters and a walk-through of the iconic tank deck that stretches almost the entire length of the ship from stern to bow,” Ms Enoch said.
“This will be the final opportunity for members of the community to walk the decks of the ship before it is scuttled mid this year, and becomes a world-class dive site and artificial habitat for Queensland’s vibrant marine life.
“While the ship remains a construction site, the contractors Birdon Pty Ltd have provided access to some internal compartments of the ship to display some of the work involved in preparing it to become a dive wreck.
“The project is ahead of schedule and I am excited to say that ex-HMAS Tobruk will soon join some of Queensland’s premier tourist attractions.”
Ex-HMAS Tobruk Project Manager Steve Hoseck said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service held a community open weekend on board the ship in September 2017, with tickets allocating within the first five hours of release.
“If the last open weekend is any indication, these tickets will be snapped up quickly, so jump online as soon as they’re available,” Mr Hoseck said.
The ship is expected to be scuttled in June 2018 (weather permitting), and once safe will be accessible by commercial operators and private divers via an online booking system.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said it was fitting to hold an open day as a farewell gesture to ex-HMAS Tobruk.
“Ex-HMAS Tobruk has a special place in the hearts and minds of so many Queenslanders and ex-service personnel – we were her first port of call and now her last,” Minister Jones said.
“This will be a very special day to close a chapter in her history - but the next exciting chapter is soon to begin.
“Ex-HMAS Tobruk will be scuttled in Wide Bay, becoming a world-class dive site that will attract visitors from across Australia and the world to this region.”
Tickets to the open weekend will be available at 5pm Thursday 12 April at https://www.bundabergregion.org/play/tobruk
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch