Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Contract awarded to scuttle ex-HMAS Tobruk ahead of schedule

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Thursday, September 14, 2017

    Contract awarded to scuttle ex-HMAS Tobruk ahead of schedule

    The Palaszczuk Government has awarded the contract to scuttle the ex-HMAS Tobruk in the waters of Wide Bay to maritime and disposals specialist Birdon Pty Ltd.

    Birdon has been undertaking ship-keeping services on the vessel in the port of Bundaberg and was the contractor behind the successful preparation and scuttling of ex-HMAS Canberra.

    Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said the project is likely to be delivered six months ahead of schedule, by June 2018.

    “This means divers can explore this historic ex-navy ship sooner than expected, putting Bundaberg and Hervey Bay on the map as diving destinations,” Mr Miles said.

    “The project will generate around 54 jobs during the preparation and scuttling phase, and up to 38 direct and indirect jobs as a dive wreck.

    “Birdon is passionate about ensuring the community is along for the ride during every step of the journey to transform ex-HMAS Tobruk into an artificial reef.

    “Their commitment to provide local jobs is extremely important to the Government, and was a weighted criteria during the assessment process.”

    Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the region’s economy would see to see long-term benefits from the scuttling of the ex-HMAS Tobruk.

    “In addition to the local employment opportunities the project will create, the end result—a unique dive site in the Wide Bay region—will inject considerable tourism dollars into the region for many years to come,” Ms Donaldson said.

    “Visitors from Queensland and the rest of the world will flock to the wreck to experience this dive site, and we look forward to welcoming them.”

    Julian Negri from Aqua Scuba Diver Centre in Bundaberg also welcomed the announcement.

    “The size and structure of ex-HMAS Tobruk will make an incredible artificial reef which will attract a huge amount of marine life to the area.

    “This will make it an awesome dive site that will attract people from all around Australia and the rest of the world.”

    Birdon’s Disposals Manager Trent Raines said the company has been keenly following ex-HMAS Tobruk on her journey from decommissioning nearly 18 months ago.

    “This is a project we were very keen to be involved in,” Mr Raines said.

    “It’s not just a job but a real passion for us. Many of our own personnel are ex-defence and we understand the significance of these projects for the government, ex-service men and women and the broader community.

    “Birdon also scuttled the ex-HMAS Canberraand is currently deconstructing and recycling ex-HMAS Sydney in Henderson WA.

    “It is exciting to be involved in projects with such historical significance and public interest.”

    ENDS

    Media contact: Katharine Wright - 0422 580 342