WORK STARTS: Recruitment of people to help prepare Tobruk for scuttling has begun.
WORK STARTS: Recruitment of people to help prepare Tobruk for scuttling has begun.

Job opportunities arise from work to scuttle Tobruk

WORK has begun to transform ex-HMAS Tobruk into a world-class dive site, scheduled for completion by mid-2019.

The two-year project to transform Tobruk into a dive site will support an estimated 50 new local jobs.

Project manager Steve Hoseck said he was presently recruiting skilled staff to the project including a project officer, a procurement officer and an administration officer.

"Applications have closed this week for a project officer position to oversee and co-ordinate the next stage of the ex-HMAS Tobruk's transformation,” Mr Hoseck said.

"The vessel is not yet safe for access, so we are working on providing suitable power to the vessel to run ventilation fans and lighting,” he said.

More positions would be advertised in the near future, he said.

Tobruk is expected to attract more than 5000 extra divers with money to spend to the region annually, generating significant spending and flow-on economic benefits

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the vessel, which arrived in Bundaberg Port on December 14, would provide a unique experience for divers and attract international tourists.

Ms Donaldson said NPSR could consider staging a community open day once health and safety risks had been addressed.

"The open day could provide the public with an opportunity to board the ship before it is declared a construction zone,” she said.

"It is important that the history of this ship is honoured, and that former navy and army service staff who worked on this great vessel are among those given the chance to possibly inspect it before it is transformed into a world-class dive site.”

Expressions of interest to undertake preparatory works to sink the historic vessel in waters off Bundy will open in March.

The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing is working in partnership with the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast regional councils to prepare the vessel for scuttling.

National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles said his department would oversee preparations of the vessel to ensure it was safe for divers and the environment,

"We have already employed a ship keeping contractor to maintain the safety of the vessel for the next two months before the major works start,” Dr Miles said.

"The call for expressions of interest will be followed by a tender process to choose the successful party that will begin preparations for scuttling,” he said.

"Works will include removal and the recycling and disposal of materials, security of the vessel, painting and cleaning, and many more technical opportunities.”



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