Whitsundays funding ahead of tourism roundtable

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment

Warren Entsch, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef

George Christensen, Member for Dawson

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley will outline additional Morrison Government support for the Whitsundays when she joins a roundtable of tourism operators and community leaders in Airlie Beach today.

  • $3.8 million will be directed through the Reef Trust to coastal habitat restoration and threatened species protection to improve the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef along the Mackay based Reef Catchments region. Priority actions will include improving Sandringham Wetland Complex, improving fish passage and improving the condition of coastal habitats.
  • The Whitsundays will become the next focus of a groundbreaking initiative to establish a spectacular network of island refuges for marine and plant life in the Great Barrier Reef with the Morrison Government investing $5 million through the Reef Trust as part of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s $14 million Reef Islands Initiative.
  • $1 million to improve swimmer safety in the Whitsundays through further education to improve reef user practices, greater understanding of shark technology and the trialing of new technology in in non-lethal shark control.

Hosted by the Member for Dawson George Christensen, today’s forum is an opportunity to work with local tourism operators and community leaders to canvas a range of issues impacting the industry from cyclone impacts, to swimmer safety and current concerns over coral bleaching and international tourism.

“The Whitsundays is a major tourism destination and one that is a vital part of the local economy,” Minister Ley said.

“The Morrison Government is investing $1.9 billion in protecting the Great Barrier Reef through world leading science and practical environmental outcomes and today will be about hearing the concerns of the local community.

“It is important that we continue to tell the wonderful story of this region while addressing environmental challenges.”

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Warren Entsch said that the Morrison Government was working with reef communities along the coast to ensure the ongoing health of the Reef.

“The Reef covers thousands of square kilometres and it has a wide range of local stories and local challenges,” Mr Entsch said.

“It is important to work with the people who are out there on the Reef every day and to understand their perspectives on an ongoing basis.”

Mr Christensen said the roundtable highlighted the pro-active approach of Tourism Operators in ensuring that the Whitsundays continued to attract visitors from across the region as well as those across Australia and the World.

“This is about people working together to promote this beautiful part of the world,” Mr Christensen said.

“The tourism operators in this area do an amazing job and it is an important opportunity for the Minister, the Special Envoy and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to meet with them and discuss the challenges and opportunities.”

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