ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA CRITICISES GBRMPA DECISION ON ABBOT POINT DREDGING

“Today’s announcement, by GBRMPA, to disregard the needs of tourism, the community and the environment will have far reaching negative repercussions. The enormous political and commercial pressures applied to GBRMPA has triumphed over the enormous weight of scientific opinion and the long term sustainable tourism development for the Reef as a whole.” said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia today.

The ecotourism industry in Australia provides enormous benefits to the community and the economy by providing employment, (especially in regional areas), and a greater understanding of the beauty, complexity and joy that our natural and cultural world can provide. Decisions such as this send a clear message to our overseas and domestic visitors that Australia is not serious about protecting its ‘Natural Advantage’.

‘The Great Barrier reef has over six hundred licensed tour operators along its length and single decisions at one point on the reef have significant repercussions on the whole reef. Visitors have choices and if they see the government doesn’t value the reef then they will go elsewhere and put at risk the enormous benefits created by the ecotourism industry’ said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia
Australia invests significant effort and resources to encourage overseas visitors to Australia by promoting the unique wildlife, World Heritage sites and stunning landscapes. The Great Barrier Reef is a major drawcard of Tourism Australia’s push to highlight Australia’s ‘Natural Advantage’ and GBRMPA’s decision today significantly devalues this push.

ENDS

Rod Hillman – 0427 279 414

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