Great Barrier Reef campaigners delivered a powerful message of Reef-safe recovery to Queensland politicians returning to state parliament earlier today.
A display of diving fins and shoes accompanied by a big banner reading Rebuild for our Reef outside parliament sent a message that economic stimulus plans should be designed with our Great Barrier Reef in mind.
“Our Reef and the tourism industry it supports need our political leaders to get behind plans that deliver renewable energy projects, restore reef catchments and support reef dependent businesses, so Queensland can emerge from this difficult time stronger than ever,” said AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaigner David Cazzulino.
“Our display sent a powerful message to politicians that our community needs support in the short, medium and long term to ensure that we recover from the COVID-19 restrictions in a way that also protects our Reef. If we rebuild right, we can make sure both our iconic Reef and our state thrive for years to come.”
The AMCS welcomed a stimulus announcement from the Palaszczuk government this morning which included support for renewables training and tourism.
“We look forward to seeing more Reef-safe stimulus measures being introduced,” added Mr Cazzulino.
“Our wonderful Reef is suffering because of emissions-induced global warming. We need stimulus measures that move Australia away from burning the fossil fuels which lead to mass coral bleaching, and over to jobs-rich renewables projects as soon as possible.
“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.”
Short term reef monitoring projects that could provide stop gap job opportunities for tourism workers like divers and boat operators should also be supported, the AMCS said.
Tanya Murphy from Divers for Reef Conservation said: “These kinds of 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.”
AMCS volunteer Camille Mora from Brisbane urged Queenslanders to support Reef tourism industries by visiting Australia’s international icon.
“Our beautiful Reef is the perfect destination for Queenslanders emerging from restrictions, and our tourism dollars will really help those businesses and workers hit hardest by the lockdowns,” Ms Mora said.
“We need our politicians to back this up with measures that guarantee a future for our Reef while creating new jobs in these regions.”
Media contact: Jo Manning 0405 567 228 / firstname.lastname@example.org