UNDER THE SEA: Photos reveal what the Tobruk looks like as she rests on the sea floor. Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has called on the State Government to release details of the costs of the project, as a new row over its scuttling continues.
UNDER THE SEA: Photos reveal what the Tobruk looks like as she rests on the sea floor. Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has called on the State Government to release details of the costs of the project, as a new row over its scuttling continues. Contributed

Keith Pitt calls on Department to 'come clean' over Tobruk

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has continued his crusade against the State Government over the ex-HMAS Tobruk, claiming they need to "come clean" on the situation.

Mr Pitt had previously criticised the government's decision not to correct the scuttling after an independent report on the vessel was analysed by the State Government last week.

The report said it would likely be too costly and would risk damaging the wreck if the State Government were to undertake works on correcting its position.

But Mr Pitt said there were questions to be asked over the handling of the situation.

"We've waited over three months to simply be told, 'we won't be doing anything to right the Tobruk,'" Mr Pitt said.

"Has the contractor been paid in full? Has the contractor activated the insurance and where has this money gone?

"What about the $1million from both Bundaberg Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council - what has this been used for? Should the council's be asking for a refund?"

Tourism operators and divers claim dive opportunities at the site are limited after the vessel rolled onto its starboard side during the scuttling in June.

But the report highlighted the vessel's orientation "does not seem to have an overly negative impact on general diveability and potential enjoyment for visitors."

The total cost to right the wreck, and whether the company that scuttled the ship had insurance, have not been revealed.

Mr Pitt said the State Government needed to reveal what was spent and whether any insurance was received from the contractor.

"Otherwise, we're left wondering whether they're out of pocket at all. They could have even made a profit at ratepayers' expense," he said.

But Ms Enoch rejected Mr Pitt's assessment, saying the expert advice in the report "made it clear the Tobruk is a world-class dive site".

"Once again we see a local LNP Member talking down tourism opportunities in the region," Ms Enoch said.

"Tourism operators are ready to go with one operator reporting that they have a waiting list of more than 400 waiting to dive the Tobruk.

"For Keith Pitt to suggest we spend up to $20 million to move the Tobruk, risk its structural integrity, and delay access is simple unacceptable.

"Instead of trying to score cheap political points, Mr Pitt should be out actively selling the Tobruk as the world class dive site it is."



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