Great Barrier Reef campaigners and volunteers in Cairns have spelled out a powerful message of recovery on a local beach to highlight Reef-friendly economic stimulus plans.
Using diving fins from local tourism operators and workers, the display was set out on Yorkeys Knob Beach spelling out Rebuild For Our Reef.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) wants politicians to design stimulus measures that rebuild the local economy in ways that are beneficial for our Great Barrier Reef.
“Our stimulus spending needs to be smart and sustainable. Investment in renewable energy projects, the restoration of Reef catchments and support of the tourism industry will not only create jobs short term, but ensure the long-term prosperity of our Reef and region,” said AMCS Cairns campaigner Elise Springett.
“Cairns should emerge from this difficult time stronger than ever and the power to make this happen is in the hands of our political leaders. We hope our message will inspire them to make the smart and sustainable choices for our community and our Reef.”
Ms Springett highlighted that investment into renewable energy projects would bring jobs to the region and help Australia to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which are driving disastrous global warming impacts like mass coral bleaching events on our Reef.
“Pollution from runoff is adding to the pressures on our Reef, but with funding for projects like gully restoration and repairing coastal wetlands, these pressures will ease while providing jobs in regional areas,” she said.
Mrs Springett and Tanya Murphy from Divers For Reef Conservation also called for support of short term reef monitoring projects that could provide stop gap job opportunities for tourism workers while the sector recovers.
“Tourism operators reveal the beauty of our iconic Reef to Australians and the world. We need more supportive policies from this government that help sustain our Reef and our livelihoods in the short and the long term,” said Ms Murphy.
“The reef monitoring projects help scientists learn more about the big issues facing our Reef so they can influence the policies that will shape its future. The tourism community wants to be a part of that.”
Images and drone footage of the action are available here.
Media contact: Jo Manning 0405 567228 / [email protected]