REVEALED: Govt unveils ex-HMAS Tobruk dive operators
BREAKING: THE Palaszczuk Government has announced the successful dive operators who will conduct recreational diving activities on ex-HMAS Tobruk site once it has been scuttled as a world-class dive wreck later this year.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the successful operators were evenly spread across the Wide-Bay region.
"Lady Musgrave Experience and Bundaberg Aqua Scuba will operate out of Bundaberg, and Dive Hervey Bay and Hervey Bay Dive Centre will be conducting tours out of Hervey Bay," Ms Enoch said.
"These operators have been chosen following a range of excellent applications that the Department of Environment and Science received from local dive operators to be part of this exclusive opportunity.
"It is wonderful to see the high calibre of tourism operators in the region, and I am confident that the selected applicants will provide an exceptional experience for divers who come to visit the site.
"With a limited number of divers permitted on the site at one time, this is an exclusive opportunity for the dive companies to take divers on a unique experience.
"Private and club divers will also be able to book two hour time slots to explore this unique dive site.
"Divers will soon have an opportunity to dive on this iconic ex-navy ship and experience the rich sea life that will inhabit her decks," Ms Enoch said.
Successful operator Brett Lakey from Lady Musgrave Experience said that diving ex-HMAS Tobruk would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for international visitors.
"We can't wait to take divers out to experience ex-HMAS Tobruk from a different perspective, deep beneath the ocean's surface," Mr Lakey said.
"A highlight of this dive wreck will be the ability to swim through the iconic tank deck, which runs nearly the entire length of the ship.
"The ex-HMAS Tobruk dive site will be a great addition to the region, accompanying the existing world-class Great Barrier Reef experience."
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said ex-HMAS Tobruk site was a step closer to opening following the selection of dive operators.
"The scuttling of this vessel will provide a world-class dive site and create an artificial reef which will attract visitors from around the world to the Wide-Bay region," Ms Jones said.
"I want to congratulate the local dive operators who have been selected to take tourists to this unique Queensland attraction, which will support local jobs and boost the region's tourism industry."
The ship is expected to be scuttled ahead of schedule in June (weather permitting) with operators to commence operations within months of successful scuttling.