Redland City Council has launched a community campaign calling on the State Government to select the waters off North Stradbroke Island as Queensland’s choice as the final resting place for the ex-warship HMAS Tobruk.
Acting Redland City Mayor Wendy Boglary said the campaign would support a formal expression of interest Council will lodge asking Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to scuttle the Tobruk in Moreton Bay to create an artificial reef.
“The waters off Straddie tick all the boxes to be the new home for the Tobruk; it is a short drive from Brisbane and boasts world class tourism and dive locations,” Cr Boglary said.
“Point Lookout is known as the best land based whale watching location in the world and creating an artificial reef on Straddie’s doorstep would attract even more marine life, which is a plus for locals, tourists and most importantly the marine environment.”
Cr Boglary said the opportunity came at a critical time for the future of North Stradbroke Island with sand mining to end by 2019.
“A 2010 study by Sunshine Coast University showed an economic benefit in excess of $4.5 million a year for the first four years after the HMAS Brisbane was scuttled off the Sunshine Coast in 2005.” Cr Boglary said.
“And the State Government reports that the ex-HMAS Brisbane continues to attract an average of 5300 scuba divers a year with an estimated annual economic injection of $1.5 million 11 years after it was scuttled.
”Council is mounting a very good case to have the HMAS Tobruk at Straddie and I thank all those community members and organisations. including Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Straddie Chamber of Commerce, dive schools and tourism operators who have got behind the petition to the Premier and Minister for Tourism.
“There is no better place for the ex-HMAS to rest than at Straddie and I look forward to the Premier seriously considering Council’s proposal, particularly given the vital need for a successful economic transition from sandmining to other industries on Straddie.
“This dive site will add to Redlands’s fast-growing reputation for outdoor adrenaline activities with our high standard of bike trails that attract riders from all over South East Queensland and our incredible beaches and water associated water activities.
“We already have more than 800 people who have signed the e-petition and will have a contingent outside Parliament House on Tuesday when Parliament sits.”
Cr Peter Mitchell, who represents North Stradbroke Island, said: “Straddie already has impressive dive sites like the Manta Bommie, which is known as one of Australia’s top 10 dive sites, and creating a new artificial reef by scuttling HMAS Tobruk would attract thousands of divers a year and provide flow-on economic opportunities to the region.”
Cr Mitchell said the Sink Tobruk for Straddie campaign gave locals and visitors the chance to show the State Government the community support for bringing the ex-warship to Straddie.
“Local businesses and divers from all over Redlands and Brisbane are eager to help in any way they can,” Cr Mitchell said.
“There is also the backing of the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation who represent the island’s Traditional Owners. They are keen to welcome the Tobruk back to Moreton Bay to complement the island’s growing cultural tourism offerings.”
“This would be a perfect opportunity for North Stradbroke Island,” he said.
“Council will submit a formal expression of interest to the State Government by the deadline of 16 September:
Get involved by: