Hopes not completely sunk

Despite missing out on getting the ex-HMAS Tobruk as a new dive site for North Stradbroke Island, Redland City Council is keen  to capitalise on the awareness its spirited campaign has generated in the local dive industry.

It will also look for other opportunities to create new dive sites off Straddie.

In congratulating the Wide Bay region on being named the ship’s destination, Mayor Karen Williams said the Redlands would now like to work with the region to promote the state’s premier dive experiences.

“I would like to congratulate the Wide Bay Region – and the Bundaberg and Fraser Coast areas in particular – on being named the successful site. It’s a significant achievement that the ex-warship will be coming to Queensland. The Redlands would like to work with Wide Bay, as well as the Sunshine Coast which has the ex-HMAS Brisbane, to ensure promotion of all of Queensland, including Straddie, as a world-class diving destination,’’ Cr Williams said.

She said that while she was disappointed the Redlands’  had missed out, Council was grateful for the enthusiastic community support for its “Sink Tobruk for Straddie” campaign.

“Scuttling this ship would have been a perfect opportunity for the state and federal governments to get behind Redlands to support local jobs and tourism, especially  given the short timeframe and inadequate state funding to support a realistic economic transition on North Stradbroke Island,’’ Cr Williams said.

“We will not give up on bringing economic opportunities to our city, including looking for other vessels to sink to enhance diving tourism. We gave it a good fight and I am sure gave those selecting the resting spot for this ship something to think about.’’

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