Queensland’s extraordinary marine life, coral reefs and coastal lifestyle are central to our livelihood, and are the backbone of our regional economy. Marine parks act as a tourism magnet, promoting our coastal assets and promising unique nature-based experiences to both domestic and international visitors.
The Coral Sea already has a reputation as a wonderful place to dive, sail and fish, and is increasingly attracting marine wildlife tourism.
Australia’s Coral Sea Marine Reserve protects one of the last wild places on Earth where ocean giants still thrive. It also created what is effectively the largest recreational fishing zone in Australia’s history. With both a large sanctuary and a large recreational fishing zone, the right balance has been achieved in the Coral Sea.
There are major tourism opportunities to having the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Coral Sea Marine Reserve side by side. Both areas offer a very different experience, and side by side they will deliver a boost for Queensland tourism.
Incredibly, despite undergoing Australia’s most thorough scientific review and community consultation, the Federal Government is now considering an unprecedented rollback of our national network of marine sanctuaries, including in our precious Coral Sea. According to scientists, this would significantly undermine the health of our marine life, putting at risk local economies, and the opportunity to secure the Coral Sea as an iconic destination like the Great Barrier Reef.
Hundreds of businesses have already signed on in support of marine sanctuaries throughout coastal Australia. Will you join them?
By bringing Queensland businesses together to endorse this statement, we believe the Federal Government will listen to common sense and show leadership to protect our marine sanctuaries.
Please lend your support by adding your business’s name to this statement and encouraging other local businesses to do the same.
Coral Sea Business Statement for Sanctuaries
Queensland’s extraordinary marine life and coral reefs attract billions of dollars each year in marine tourism alone. Our reputation as an iconic tourist destination relies on adequate protection of our unique marine environment.
Marine sanctuaries are, according to scientists, vital to maintaining the health of marine life. The creation of Australia’s national network of marine sanctuaries in 2012 was the result of more than a decade of bipartisan work by all sides of politics.
Australia’s Coral Sea Marine Reserve protects one of the last wild places on Earth where ocean giants still thrive. It also created what is effectively the largest recreational fishing zone in Australia’s history. With a large sanctuary and a large recreational fishing zone, the right balance with benefits for all was achieved in the Coral Sea.
Now the Coral Sea sanctuary is under threat, which risks not only our envied coastal lifestyle but also our international reputation, along with the jobs and sustainable business opportunities a thriving tourism industry provides. Astoundingly, the Federal Government has decided to ignore years of scientific and public consultation; instead putting marine protection ‘on hold’ whilst undertaking a long, costly and unnecessary review.
Multiple use marine reserves with fully protected sanctuaries at their core have strong economic benefits. The Coral Sea already has a reputation as a pristine dive site and is increasingly attracting marine wildlife tourism. There are major tourism opportunities by having the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Coral Sea Marine Reserve side by side. Both areas offer a very different experience, and side by side they will deliver a much needed boost for North Queensland tourism. Marine sanctuaries can also help to repopulate fish populations, benefiting both the commercial and recreational fishing industries.
The creation of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve is estimated to enable the dive tourism industry to expand by 150%, which is a gain in direct sales of $9 million (KPMG, 2010). This will have important flow on effects for the economy and employment of North Queensland, particularly with protection for key dive tourism sites like the Osprey Group of reefs.
Existing marine sanctuaries in Australia and overseas have boosted both the domestic and international tourism markets – attracting divers, snorkellers and other nature-based experience-seekers who typically spend twice that of other tourists. With these tourists also utilising local restaurants, accommodation, shopping and other activities, marine parks and sanctuaries are increasingly regarded as important economic ‘infrastructure’ which contribute significantly to national and regional economies.
As coastal Queensland business operators, we recognise the importance of protecting our marine environment to enhance our natural economic advantage, entice visitors to the regions, add value to local industries and benefit our local communities.
We, the undersigned, are local, regional and national businesses, and we support the Coral Sea Marine Reserve, its sanctuary, and its leading place in Australia’s national network of marine sanctuaries. We call on the Federal Government to protect and implement Australia’s national network of sanctuaries, thereby ensuring our country retains its reputation as an extraordinary destination.
How will this statement and your information be used?
This statement, its list of business signatories and your comments will be presented to the Prime Minister and the Federal Minister for the Environment. The contact details of each contact person will be treated confidentially and only be used to email you regarding this issue. They will not be passed on to any other organisation.