Media Release Fight For Our Reef

Far North Queensland Businesses urge Government to Fight for the Reef on World Tourism Day

September 27, 2018

An alliance of Far North Queensland businesses, including Great Barrier Reef tourism operators, have urged the federal government to fight for our Reef on World Tourism Day.

In May the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) released a historic Reef Climate Declaration, calling on the federal government to rapidly phase out fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.

“It’s not too late to save the Reef but time is critical”, the statement says. The Declaration is now signed by 150 businesses including the peak tourism industry body, AMPTO, the Cairns Aquarium and the Pullman International Hotel.

Col McKenzie, AMPTO’s Chief Executive says, “On World Tourism Day we’re calling on all our political leaders to stand up for Far North Queensland businesses and jobs and demonstrate leadership on climate change to protect the future of our Reef.”

“The Reef is a magnet for people all around the world. It generates $6 billion each year and sustains 64 000 jobs.

“The Reef is still a beautiful and dynamic place but it’s under serious threat from climate change and we need our leaders to put in place strong climate and energy policies to protect its future,” he said.

AMCS’s Great Barrier Reef Campaigner David Cazzulino says, “Climate change, mainly driven by mining and burning coal and other fossil fuels, is the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Taking action on climate change for our Reef means stopping Adani’s polluting coal mine and embracing clean renewable energy.

“Here in Cairns we’re seeing the impacts of climate change on our Reef but local businesses are joining the fight to protect it.

“It’s been fantastic to see support from the business community – including cafes, restaurants, hotels, law firms, hairdressers and builders – who want our representatives to step up and protect the Reef.”

For more information and media interviews contact:

AMPTO – Col McKenzie on 0417 600 055 or at [email protected]

AMCS – David Cazzulino on 0447 238 095 or at [email protected]

Far North Queensland businesses can add their business name to the Reef Climate Declaration by going to

Photo of Col and David with the signed Reef Climate Declaration here

Note to editors: the full wording of today’s declaration


We love the Great Barrier Reef.

As Reef tourism businesses operating in the World Heritage area, we take seriously our responsibility to look after one of the world’s most beautiful and biologically rich ecosystems.

Together we’re calling for bold action to protect this natural icon.

We cannot understate the economic contribution of Reef tourism. The Reef is a magnet for people from Australia and around the world and generates $6 billion each year and sustains 64,000 jobs.

Despite the negative press, the Reef is a dynamic, vibrant, awesome place. But, like coral reefs around the world, it is under serious threat.

Climate change, mainly driven by burning coal and other fossil fuels, is the single biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. The carbon pollution from coal, oil and gas is heating the air and the oceans to dangerous levels. Coral reefs around the world were damaged during an unprecedented marine heatwave in 2016 and 2017.

It’s not too late to save our Reef but time is critical.

The federal government has a responsibility to honour the Paris Agreement and protect the Reef on behalf of all Australians, all humanity and future generations. Yet our representatives continue to support the expansion of coal and gas, including Adani’s mega coal mine.

To give our Reef the best chance for the future, Australia must join the rest of the world to rapidly phase out coal and other fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.

We call on all our political leaders to stand up for Far North QLD businesses and jobs and fight for the future of our Reef.