Media Release Climate Change

Tourism and conservation groups call for jobs for our Reef in new billboard

August 12, 2020

Marine campaigners and tourism leaders have come together to urge the Cairns community to back jobs for our Reef in the Queensland election this October.

A striking billboard produced by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) and the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) sends a message to Cairns candidates and voters to ‘stand up for Reef jobs’ by ‘investing in clean energy’.

The eye-catching poster can be seen on the corner of Abbott and Spence Streets in Cairns and will be on display for the next week.

AMCS campaigner David Cazzulino said he wanted to see candidates supporting measures which created jobs for the COVID restriction-hit tourism industry while also benefiting our Reef.

AMCS billboard with AMPTO

“The biggest issue facing our amazing Reef is climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas,” said Mr Cazzulino. “This is what drives the marine heatwaves, which cause the coral bleaching we have seen all too often in recent years. Fortunately, we can help combat this problem by investing in clean energy jobs instead.

“This will mean Queenslanders are playing a big role in helping our amazing Reef while creating jobs and rebuilding the economy when we need it most.

“We hope all candidates in Cairns will share our vision for a rapid and fair transition to renewable energy.”

AMPTO CEO Gareth Phillips said the devastated tourism industry in Cairns needed politicians who will stand up for new jobs and the future of our Reef now more than ever.

“The new outbreak in Victoria and the closure of borders to Victoria, NSW and ACT, has meant even more domestic markets have been restricted for our beleaguered tourism operators,” he said.

“We need measures that will provide jobs and support for the thousands of tourism workers impacted while also protecting the reason why so many of us are here – our incredible Great Barrier Reef.

“Renewable energy projects will create jobs and opportunities for families in Cairns, as will restoration projects in Reef catchments that can help tackle water quality issues.

“We’d also like to see opportunities for skilled tourism workers like divers and boat operators to help with Reef monitoring projects. As the climate changes, it is essential that we help scientists keep an eye on our Reef so we can help manage it into the future.

“When tourists return to Cairns, we want to be able to present the best version of our Reef possible. After everything we’ve been through this year, we will need our Reef to help us heal and reconnect to nature more than ever.”