DIVE tour operators are divided over whether tourism will be affected by the ex-HMAS Tobruk landing on her side when she was scuttled last week.

Hervey Bay Dive Centre and Dive Hervey Bay were the two companies chosen by the State Government to conduct recreational diving activities on the ex-Navy Ship.

But when Dive Hervey Bay owner Glenn Bowman, who has 35 years dive instructor experience and more than 3,500 dives logged, watched the ship descend into the ocean's depths on her side, he knew he'd have to reassess his strategy.


Mr Bowman said the unplanned result could reduce projected income by 50 per cent due to less people visiting the town and thus less people purchasing hotel rooms, food and shopping.

"The starboard side is basically not accessible to any divers except divers with wreck penetration diving qualifications," he said.

"You need to be able to see an exit or sunlight for an exit to make it a general diver dive site."

They were conflicting points to Hervey Bay Dive Centre owner Ed Gibson.

Mr Gibson said despite the scuttling not going to the exact plan, open divers would still have a "really good swim".

"Divers can still experience propellers and rudders with its position," he said.

"It's not unusual for a vessel to land on its side and from a divers point of view, it's still quite accessible.

"I don't think it will affect dive tourism and it will thrive as expected because we will adjust it and amend our dive tours."

One thing Mr Gibson and Mr Bowman do agree on, however is that the dive will be nothing short of spectacular.

The Chronicle contacted Hinkler MP Keith Pitt, who launched the Tobruk campaign four years ago, to hear his thoughts on the potential impact the vessel's position could have on tourism.

Keith Pitt's office said once the ex-HMAS Tobruk was handed over to the State Government in December 2016, it ceased having any control over the vessel and was unable to comment.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokeswoman said despite concerns, the wreck was lying in the correct location, within the restricted access area.

"The first order of operations following any scuttling event is to undertake a safety inspection of the entire wreck," she said.

"Contractor Birdon have undertaken the inspections and will be submitting a report to the Queensland Government in coming days.

"This will allow us to review all options and assess the best way to move forward to ensure the best dive opportunity is created.

"The Queensland Government is engaging with the four commercial tour operators to keep them informed of developments during this process and to scope dive experience opportunities."

Do you think tourism will be affected by the ex-HMAS Tobruk on her starboard side? Email us at editorial@frasercoastchronicle.com.au.