Push for dive wreck continues

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is still pushing to secure a military dive wreck for the electorate.

“While the fate of the HMAS Tobruk has yet to be decided, I acknowledge there is strong competition for it,” Mr Pitt said.

“One of the sticking points has been waiting for a meeting with the State Government. They have to be willing to accept a military vessel as a gift – it can’t go forward until that happens.”

Mr Pitt confirmed that Wide Bay Dive Wreck Advisory Group member Ed Gibson met with State Government Tourism Minister Kate Jones in the past week.

Mr Gibson said he received a very positive reception from Ms Jones.

“The minister was very amenable to our cause and said she would push our barrow as hard as she could,” Mr Gibson said.

“She felt it (a dive wreck) was a great opportunity for our state and our region.”

Mr Pitt will meet with Defence Minister Marise Payne in the coming weeks.

“There is a still a strong need for a new tourist attraction in Hinkler to stimulate the local economy and create jobs.

“The dive wreck advisory group estimates that a military dive wreck would contribute between $1 million and $4 million each year to the local economy—that is a great boost , and one that we need,” Mr Pitt said.

A Defence Department spokesperson said the Minister was currently considering a range of disposal options for ex-HMAS Tobruk.

“The disposal of ex-Navy vessels is a complex matter and the Minister is considering the wide range of issues associated with creating dive wrecks,” the spokesperson said.



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