WELCOME: The ex-HMAS Tobruk entering the Port of Bundaberg in December.
WELCOME: The ex-HMAS Tobruk entering the Port of Bundaberg in December. Mike Knott BUN141216TOBRUK8

Gold Coast company wins Tobruk dredging contract

EX-HMAS Tobruk's arrival at its final destination at the bottom of the Coral Sea is one step closer with the State Government to announce the successful tender for the dredging contract today.

National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Minister Steven Miles will announce the $325,000 contract has been awarded to Queensland-based Neumann Contractors Pty Ltd.

Based in Currumbin, the experienced contractors previously carried out dredging works in the area for the Bundaberg Port, including the Kirbys Wall works in 2014.

Supervising the project will be Neumann Contractors' Barry Burnes, who said the work would take between 17 and 20 days and would see one local employed to join three of its own staff.

"(The work involves) removing approximately 16,000 cubic metres of mud to the nominated storage area, which is roughly 1.3km from the site,” he said.

Mr Burnes said the set-up would involve laying the 1.3km of 280mm piping to pump the material through.

The required specialised equipment will be brought up from the Gold Coast from March 27, with dredging expected to start in early April.

"On the initial set-up we will have three of our staff and one local and, once the job is running, two of our staff and one local,” he said.

"We always try to use locals where we can, bigger jobs we need more, but this is only a little job.”

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said Neumann Contractors had more than 50 years' experience in dredging, and completed dredging works in Bundaberg in 2013 following severe flooding in the area.

"The dredging work will enable the relocation of the decommissioned vessel to Bundaberg Port Marina, at the mouth of the Burnett River, where it will undergo final preparations before being scuttled and transformed into a world-class dive site and reef,” Ms Donaldson said.

The Tobruk project is a $10.25 million project in partnership with Bundaberg and Fraser Coast regional councils to create an artificial reef and world-class dive site.

The two-year project to transform ex-HMAS Tobruk into a world-class dive site will support an estimated 50 new local jobs and is expected to attract more than 5000 extra, high-yielding divers annually to the region, generating significant spending and flow-on economic benefits to major hubs such as Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.