90 second statement – Tobruk
Mr PITT (Hinkler): I also acknowledge Percy in the crowd! It’s great to have the children of members here to see what mum and dad do every single day.
Once again, I’m back talking about HMAS Tobruk. It was scuttled in June after a long battle across Australia in probably the best possible conditions and in the best way that we could put this deal together, with all three levels of government contributing. There was $1 million from each council—Bundaberg Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council—support from the Labor state government and, of course, federally, with the contribution of the actual ship. This has been a project many, many years in the making.
Unfortunately, they tried a new technique on the scuttling in June, which I’m advised has never been utilised in this country before. Rumours abound as to how this happened, but the result is that HMAS Tobruk is on her side in 30 metres of water. It will still be a world-class dive site, but, clearly, it will be restricted to those who are advanced, and that will not give us the economic boost for which we were working.
The Labor state government has investigated and they continue to investigate. They should be looking at insurance options. I will say to the minister: ‘It was June and now it’s September. What is the answer? Will you be re-righting the HMAS Tobruk? Will you provide us with what was promised and with what we need for that economic boost, because we need jobs desperately?’ This project was designed to deliver it and it’s about time that happened. Once again, to the Queensland Labor state government I say this, ‘You need to deliver what was promised for our people.’