Mr ENTSCH: I rise today with pride as I congratulate two outstanding organisations in my local community on their remarkable achievements at the 34th National Banksia Sustainability Awards, held in Melbourne on 23 March. These prestigious awards have recognised innovation and leadership in sustainability for many years. This year, both the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, or the RRRC, and Passions of Paradise have demonstrated their commitment to making positive impacts in our world.
First, I’d like to congratulate the RRRC for their incredible success in winning not one but two categories in this year’s awards through their tireless efforts. RRRC took out the agriculture and regional development award as well as the biodiversity award. In the agriculture and regional development category, RRRC’s Project 25 has made great strides in fostering sustainable change in farming practices by working closely with farmers, adopting a citizen science approach and monitoring water quality. In the biodiversity category, RRRC’s groundbreaking work on the crown-of-thorns starfish control program has done a great deal to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Their integrated pest management approach has proven effective in controlling outbreaks and protecting high-value reefs. To Sheriden Morris and the entire RRRC team: your dedication in addressing complex ecological problems and translating scientific research into practical solutions is truly inspiring. Your work has contributed to our region through the creation of jobs and the protection of our finest natural wonder. Well done.
I’d also like to extend my warmest congratulations to Passions of Paradise, a marine tourism company owned by Alan Wallish, a former RRRC board member and a good mate. Passions has been recognised with a sustainable tourism award from the Banksia Foundation for promoting citizen science to the Great Barrier Reef and getting tourists deeply engaged in the process of learning, creating lifelong lovers of our precious Great Barrier Reef. To Alan Wallish and the entire Passions of Paradise team: the recognition of your efforts by the Banksia Foundation is a testament to your commitment to sustainable business practices and your contribution to environmental conservation. Thank you for your dedication, for preserving our natural wonders and for inspiring others to join the cause.
In closing, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to both RRRC and Passions of Paradise. Their outstanding achievements, hard work and commitment set a great example for us all, and I know that all of Far North Queensland is incredibly proud to have such innovative and dedicated organisations in our local community.