TOBRUK OUT: Ex-HMAS Tobruk leaves the Port of Bundaberg on its final voyage to its resting place 40km off the coast of Bundaberg.
TOBRUK OUT: Ex-HMAS Tobruk leaves the Port of Bundaberg on its final voyage to its resting place 40km off the coast of Bundaberg. Ben Turnbull

Minister fires back at Pitt's Tobruk call

LABOR has hit back at Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt after his comments about the future of the ex-HMAS Tobruk dive site.

Acting Environment Minister Mark Bailey said Mr Pitt's comments, which were made in parliament, were a ploy to help Mr Pitt get re-elected.

On Wednesday Mr Pitt called for the Palaszczuk Government to make a timely decision on the wreck site.

"We were successful in getting the ship into position. But, unfortunately, on the very last day, at the very last hurdle, when the ship was scuttled on 29 June, the ship turned onto its side and is now resting on the bottom on its starboard side in 30 metres of water,” Mr Pitt said.

"Don't get me wrong - this will still be a fantastic dive site.”

But Mr Pitt said it would not be the site which was fought for and would have provided the greatest economic benefit to the region.

"The reason for that is quite simple,” he said.

"If HMAS Tobruk had been intended to be on its side, we would have scuttled it in much shallower water.”

Mr Bailey said he was let down to hear the comments from Mr Pitt.

"It is disappointing the Member for Hinkler has been talking down local tourism opportunities in his own region,” Mr Bailey said.

"Instead of trying to score cheap political points to get re-elected, Mr Pitt and his LNP colleagues should be promoting the fantastic tourism opportunities and the jobs this world class product will deliver for the people of the Wide Bay region.”

He said regardless of the final orientation of the ex-HMAS Tobruk, it will be a world-class dive site after the Palaszczuk Labor Government successively lobbied for it to be located here.

The Department of Environment and Science is currently working with the contractor.



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