Locals called on to sign dive wreck petition this weekend

WIDE Bay locals are being urged to show their support for a military dive wreck by signing a petition this weekend.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the 'weekend of action' at local markets would hopefully result in thousands of signatures being collected for the petition which will be tabled in the House of Representatives in Canberra later this month.

"This is a very simple but effective way community members can show their support to get this dive wreck here and in doing so, get tourist activity, economic benefits and jobs," Mr Pitt said.

Petition signing stalls will be set up this weekend at the Howard Markets on Saturday from 6am, the Urangan Pier Markets this Saturday from 8am and the Shalom Markets in Bundaberg on Sunday from 6am.

"The race is on. We want to demonstrate to all three levels of Government that this initiative has strong community support, and that Wide Bay Burnett is the ideal place to scuttle HMAS Tobruk.

"Tourism operators need another water-based attraction that will keep boats in the water during the months that humpback whales and loggerhead turtles are not present.

"Increasing the number of domestic and international visitors to our region will stimulate the local economy and create jobs.

"It is estimated a military dive wreck would contribute between $1 million and $4 million each year to the local economy. This would be a great rate of return on a one-off estimated investment of approximately $6 million," Mr Pitt said.

The market stalls will be manned by members of the Regional Dive Wreck Advisory Group who will be on hand to answer any questions.

If you can't get to the markets this weekend, the petition is available for signing at Hervey Bay Boat Club, Engineering Solutions Queensland, Ulton Chartered Accountants, Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce, Burrum District Community Centre, Bundaberg Aqua Scuba and the electorate offices of Ted Sorensen MP, Stephen Bennett MP and Keith Pitt MP.

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