Wide Bay Burnett Dive Wreck Group

May 19, 2015

Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett executive officer Scott Rowe said the region boasts all the hallmarks of a coastal playground, including pristine waters and abundant sea life and an established water-based tourism reputation.

“Creating a more diverse tourism offering is critical if our region is to remain relevant a competitive tourism destination for domestic and international visitors,” Mr Rowe said.

“With the region’s proximity to the southern Great Barrier Reef and iconic Fraser Island, it is the ideal destination for the creation of a new artificial reef.”

Mr Rowe said similar projects have been estimated to be worth $5 million per year to the local economy, attracting about 5000 divers annually. The majority of these divers are typically from outside the region.

It is proposed the soon-to-be decommissioned Navy vessel, HMAS Tobruk, be secured for sinking to create a new diving experience to value add to current tourism operations and create economic benefit.

“The HMAS Tobruk is an amphibious heavy lift ship which has had a distinguished career spanning 30 years. It is only fitting she be given a further opportunity to continue to serve the community as a world class dive site for decades to come.”

A project like this has the potential to help the State and Federal governments achieve their objective of doubling the value of the tourism industry’s overnight visitation by 2020, while also providing additional habitat for fish and other marine life.

 The Regional Dive Wreck Advisory Group includes members with tourism, specific artificial reef and dive industry experience, marine biology and navigation specialists and representatives of local, state and federal governments.

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