Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef will benefit from a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team with the announcement today of $1.3 million commitment for the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef (COGBR) initiative.
Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch today joined with Alex de Waal, CEO of Tourism Tropical North Queensland, and other stakeholders to announce the commitment, which will invite people from all around the world to become Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef through a central online platform.
“This is a fantastic concept and one that I’m very pleased to be able to support,” Mr Entsch said. “Within Australia, and internationally, people recognise the significance of the Great Barrier Reef but often don’t know how to express that support in a meaningful way.
“The Citizens portal will provide a one-stop-shop where people can learn about the Reef and the activities that are underway to make it stronger and more resilient, and they can make donations safe in the knowledge that every dollar will go directly into research.
“TTNQ ? as the proponent of this concept in conjunction with partners JCU, GBRMPA, RRRC and Reef HQ Aquarium ? have really thought outside the box, and have engaged some very innovative marketing avenues.
“By doing so, COGBR will enable Australia to showcase the fact that the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s best-managed Reef, as well as providing an extraordinary global profile and platform to showcase what is actually being done.”
With support from the Cairns Regional Council (CRC), a public artwork will be commissioned to feature on the Cairns Esplanade as a symbolic ‘Citizens Gateway’ to the Reef.
“Our funding commitment announced today will provide $1 million for the global launch of COGBR, as well as $300,000 towards the construction of the Citizens Gateway,” Mr Entsch said.
This Gateway, represented by a digitally interactive, permanent public sculpture featuring iconic marine creatures and providing a view to the GBR on the horizon, will be highlighted in all campaign activity, including the launch.
“I’ve no doubt that this piece of public art will become a focal point for visitors to our region and the Reef, where people can share their experiences via social media and promote Far North Queensland to their friends, family and networks all around the world.”
The objectives of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef are as follows:
a) PARTICIPATION: Empower citizens and organisations of the world to demonstrate ownership, leadership and responsibility for preserving and experiencing the Great Barrier Reef.
b) CONSERVATION: Promote, foster and support research and management activities that contribute to best-practice conservation of the Great Barrier Reef for current and future generations.
c) EDUCATION: Increase local and global awareness of the Great Barrier Reef and its universal value, and communicate initiatives and progress towards its sustainable existence.
d) TOURISM: Encourage sustainable tourism experiences and visitation to the Great Barrier Reef and through visitation, increase advocacy for its value and conservation.
“The Turnbull Coalition Team is dedicated to building stronger communities across Australia and a healthy and more resilient Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Entsch said. “We understand that by investing in projects such as COGBR, we help grow a more vibrant and viable community.
“Most importantly, it’s about working to secure jobs in our tourism industry now and into the future, and building on Far North Queensland’s reputation as a hub for knowledge and scientific expertise on water quality, tropical ecosystems and Reef health.”