VIRTUAL TOUR: First look at incredible $5m dive site
A NEW offshore dive site is one step closer on the Gold Coast.
The contract to design and build a $5 million dive site delivered by the State Government and Gold Coast Council has been awarded to Australian company Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd.
Mayor Tom Tate said the concept design was "quintessential Gold Coast" and complemented the region's existing dive offer.
"The Gold Coast is known for delivering many world firsts and this floating reef will take its place as an iconic eco-tourism experience unrivalled on a global scale," he said.
"The floating reef will establish itself instantly as a must do or bucket list experience when you are on the Gold Coast.
"Divers will be able to swim around and through the floating reefs which over time will become covered in marine growth attracting schools of fish and other species."
The reef sculptures are the work of renowned Queensland artist Daniel Templeman.
It will undergo further design development in consultation with the dive industry reference group.
Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon said the cost would be equally split by the government and council and was expected to attract 16,600 new visitors and more than $2 million in annual overnight visitor expenditure.
"We're investing in new tourism attractions for the Coast that we know will attract more tourists and create local jobs," she said.
Ms Scanlon said the artificial dive site was expected to create 18 jobs during construction and 82 jobs once operational.
"Today is a huge milestone. To see this project come to life will be a dream come true for many tourism operators on the Coast," she said.
Ms Scanlon said the attraction would be built 2.5 kilometres off Main Beach and was expected to be open by June 2021.
"The nine sculptured Steel Reef flutes will stand about 16-20 metres above the ocean floor," she said.
"Divers will be able to swim around and through the floating reef which, over time, will become covered in marine growth attracting schools of fish and a diverse range of marine sea life."
Subcon Technologies have delivered more than 20 industrial scale engineered reefs in Australia and internationally.
Before work begins, further design development will be conducted with a dive industry reference group being consulted.