NO DECISION: Lady Musgrave Experience dive operator Brett Lakey is disappointed the Ex-HMAS Tobruk still remains on its side.
NO DECISION: Lady Musgrave Experience dive operator Brett Lakey is disappointed the Ex-HMAS Tobruk still remains on its side. Max Fleet BUN210715LME14

HOPES SINKING: Dive clubs turned away as Tobruk fix falters

EX-HMAS Tobruk remains on its starboard side off the coast between Hervey Bay and Bundaberg, almost four months after its failed scuttling on June 29.

The NewsMail last week contacted the Department of Environment and Science for updates on the independent report and a possible decision.

A department spokesperson said no update was available at that time, and to contact the department again in a month's time.

Lady Musgrave Experience dive operator Brett Lakey said nearly four months on, communication between state departments and dive operators in the area had been limited.

"Since the sinking, I have had only one call (from Parks and Wildlife),” Mr Lakey said.

"I have no idea what is happening now. Everything that is happening is due to the failed attempt (to scuttle the ship) from the contractor, and now everything is on hold.

"The starboard side has a buckle from landing on its side and it is not secure - so there would be a lot of work that needs to happen to make sure it is safe to dive.

"It's disappointing because of the scope of the work that was needed to prepare the ship for scuttling in the first place, all of that hard work is just undone.”

An independent report after a dive survey was conducted, however a decision whether it is viable to right the wreck in its current state or leave it on its side has yet to be released.

Mr Lakey said the delays in decision making were disappointing for dive operators, who were hoping the Tobruk dive site would bring more tourists to the region.

"We've had a lot of dive clubs that want to come up and dive the site but we can't commit because we know nothing (about a decision), and can't operate there, because unfortunately the wreck is not allowed to be dived, so we can't bring that business to the region,” he said.

Mr Lakey said if a decision was made to right the wreck, works to change its position would only increase the time frame before the site could be dived.

"No diving will commence on it until one decision or the other will be made, and then those works will have to be done - or works to prepare it as best as possible in its current position would have to be done,” he said.

"You would think we (dive operators) would have been consulted a lot more as operators.

"I'm lost for words, the decision could be another month away, it's a very disappointing result.”



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