HMAS Tobruk.
HMAS Tobruk. AAP

Decision to sink HMAS Sydney and Tobruk 'a great loss'

THE Department of Defence has announced that the decommissioned vessels, Tobruk and Sydney, will be offered to the states and territories for the creation of dive wrecks.

In a written statement, Defence Minister Marise Payne said she "appreciates the tourism and economic benefits that the creation of a dive wreck can have to local communities".

But some diving companies say that while there was little doubt the ships would boost economic activity in the industry, the loss to Australia's history would be greater.

And the Victorian Maritime Centre has called for the ships to be restored and made available to the general public.

Perth Diving Academy director Simon Jones said he acknowledged that shipwrecks were the diving industry's life blood.

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