Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Tobruk's Here but Work Still to Be Done

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Tobruk's Here but Work Still to Be Done

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Reid

THOUSANDS lined the banks of the Burnett River to watch ex-HMAS Tobruk towed in to Bundaberg Port.

The feeling was just as joyous for the people who lined the Hunter River 36 years earlier when she was launched.

Tobruk docked for the last time in preparation for two years of work that will allow her to be sunk off the coast of Elliott Heads and turned into a dive site.

The people who made the voyage possible were jubilant knowing their hard work had paid off.

Federal Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Keith Pitt said it was beyond belief to see the ship towed down the Burnett.

"It's a big deal, to be able to physically see her here," he said.

"You only have to look and see the amount of people standing on the river back to see how important this is to the area.

"I'm stoked and I didn't fight this battle alone."

He was pleased for Bundaberg's Rats of Tobruk who already had the Tobruk memorial but would now have another link.

"Nothing good is done easy, and there's still a lot of work to be done yet," Mr Pitt said.

"We will treat her with the respect she deserves.

"The ship will be prepared and will become a boon for wildlife, tourism and the whole region and we will make international headlines when this ship is sunk."

He said although he won't be diving himself he would watch and count the tourists as they come in and out of the area.

State Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones watched the Tobruk come in from a pilot boat with Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson.

"I'm over the moon," she said.

"This will bring in up to $4 million in economic impact every single year."

Ms Jones said the dive site would be rare because divers could swim through the whole thing giving the region global attention.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson hoped tourists from all over the world would see everything Bundaberg had to offer.

"It will flow on to the rest of the economy which will be fabulous," Ms Donaldson said. …

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