HMAS Tobruk is sunk in waters off Queensland.
HMAS Tobruk is sunk in waters off Queensland.

State can’t put price on Tobruk fix

ENVIRONMENT Minister Leanne Enoch has been unable to say how much it would cost to right the botched scuttling of the ex-HMAS Tobruk.

When asked by Broadwater MP David Crisafulli during the government's Budget Estimates hearing this afternoon how much it would cost to fix the scuttling, which left the ship on its side, Ms Enoch said a great deal of preparation and modelling went into the sinking.

"Certainly if it had fallen apart on the way down, if the preparation work had not been done that would be a disaster," she said.

"If the contractors had not been able to hold the ship, the vessels in place and it had been able to move away to another location that would be a disaster.

"The fact that it has gone on its side presents some other challenges - I guess to be able to look at this differently to what had been originally forecasted and planned."

The ship, which was scuttled off Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, is to be added to the state's list of artificial reefs to drive tourism.

The Courier-Mail asked the Government last month how much taxpayers would be left out of pocket following the dilemma, but they could not provide a figure then either.

The Minister said the scuttling did not mean it would "necessarily be a bad or good thing" but that contractors have been working on a report.

"The department has received that report, they are working on recommendations around that before it comes to me," she said.