Media Release – COUNCIL PROVIDES $1M SUPPORT FOR LOCAL HMAS TOBRUK DIVE LOCATION

Bundaberg Regional Council will commit one million dollars to the HMAS Tobruk Dive Experience Project following adoption of a recommendation at Council’s ordinary meeting today.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the economic benefits associated with the proposal were contained in a Business Case prepared by Regional Development Australia and indicated the wreck diving experience could generate $5 million a year for the region.

“Council’s consistent position has been that while funds were previously not available, Council fully supported the project based on its economic benefit for the Bundaberg region and also the greater Wide Bay region.

“Following the allocation of $15 million in State and Federal Government grants and a better than expected surplus for the 2015/16 financial year, Council now finds itself in an improved position economically to offer support to the project.

“Council, which has been briefed extensively on this project, is now of the view that funding of the one million dollars is possible with the proposed scuttling of the vessel expected to be some years away.

“There are added financial benefits in the offering for Bundaberg should the project be approved for our region by the Federal Government.

“With the State Government now backing the project for Queensland, it will be up to interested local Councils to provide Expressions of Interest to have the Tobruk scuttled in their region.

“Council would put forward a proposal to the State Government that the facilities at the Port of Bundaberg could be utilised in the process of preparing the vessel for scuttling which has the capability of creating upwards of $4 million in work.”

Cr Dempsey said Bundaberg has a historic linkage to the history of Tobruk with a strong Rats of Tobruk Association in the Bundaberg Region and Tobruk Street prominent in a number of streets with wartime place names.

“Bundaberg and Fraser Coast have facilities in place to be able to cater to the recreational dive wreck tourism experience with opportunities locally to expand services to meet increased market demand.

“We will work collaboratively with Fraser Coast in preparing a strong submission detailing the suitability of our regions and identifying a suitable site at which to scuttle the vessel.

“I can assure residents that this commitment by Council will not impact on the current 2016/17 budget allocations.”

“I can assure residents that this planned commitment will not impact the 2016/17 budget allocations.”

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Media Officer, Megan Dean Ph: 0409 392 236
Senior Media Officer, Wayne Heidrich Ph: 0438 638 407
Media and Marketing Manager, Megan Magill Ph: 0439 402 715
Email: communications@bundaberg.qld.gov.au

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