Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef will benefit from a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team with the announcement of $150,000 over three years to the Run for the Reef initiative.
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch joined with Run for the Reef Director Sam Cullen to announce the commitment, which will help inspire participants to become Great Barrier Reef ambassadors whilst training and competing in events.
“The Turnbull Government is driving a whole range of measures that will help ensure the health of the Great Barrier Reef both now and into the future,” Mr Entsch said. “These include initiatives to improve water quality, clean up marine debris, control crown of thorns starfish, monitor coral bleaching, support indigenous rangers and ban capital dredge spoil disposal in Reef waters among much more.
“By partnering with the Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival and its Run for the Reef initiative, we’ll be engaging directly with local communities, national and international visitors and spreading the message about the great work that is being done.”
The Run for the Reef Series will operate in a similar way to Relay for Life, which is not just about fundraising but also increasing awareness and generating public engagement.
“The events aim to have a high level of community participation, with each event operating at the same day and time across different regions, supported by digital and streaming link ups,” Mr Entsch said.
He commended the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) in Cairns, which has also shown its support for Run for the Reef by providing $10,000 towards the inaugural event in November in Port Douglas.
Proceeds from this event will be directed into the JCU Run for the Great Barrier Reef Research Fund.
“The funds raised at the 2016 event will enable research into the significant adolescent gatherings of Whale Sharks on the Great Barrier Reef, and could unlock some unknowns with regard to the importance the Reef plays as a sanctuary to iconic species,” Mr Entsch said.
“This is a fantastic initiative and I congratulate Sam Cullen and his team for their innovative approach to raising awareness about, and funds for, Great Barrier Reef research.”
The Turnbull Coalition Team is dedicated to building stronger communities across Australia, and delivering a healthier and more resilient Great Barrier Reef.
“We understand that by investing in projects such as the Run for the Reef, we help grow a more vibrant and viable community and protect jobs in our local tourism industry,” Mr Entsch ended.