MEDIA RELEASE: Has the Government forgotten about North Queensland?
A delegation of senior Labor Shadow Ministers are today visiting Cairns to listen first hand to traditional land owners, tourism operators and other experts about the challenges and opportunities facing Far North Queensland.
This will include a specific focus on the Great Barrier Reef, which is not only a national icon but underpins local economies and communities.
A recent report by Deloitte has confirmed this, placing the value of the Reef at $56 billion and revealing that the Reef contributed $6.4 billion to the Australian economy in 2015-16, supporting 64,000 full time jobs.
The Liberal National Government, however, seems content to leave Far North Queensland behind.
It has removed critical protections for the Coral Sea, trashed Labor’s land clearing laws and has no climate change policy.
The past 18 months have seen two devastating bleaching events on the Reef, with fears that some areas of the Reef may not recover.
With the latest Climate of the Nation survey from The Climate Institute reflecting 75 per cent of Australians concerns that climate change will have disastrous implications for the Reef.
It beggars belief that the Liberal National Government would put a national icon like the Great Barrier Reef in such danger and also risk the 64,000 jobs it supports.
To make matters worse for those working in the tourism sector, the Liberal National Government has cut funding for Tourism Australia by $35 million over the forwards and increased visa application charges.
The fact is communities around the nation, including those here in Tropical North Queensland, rely on tourism for their local economy.
The most recent State Tourism Satellite Accounts show that, in total, tourism employs nearly 10 per cent of Queensland’s workforce and provides almost 8 per cent of Queensland’s Gross State Product.
The Liberal National Government can no longer sit on their hands when it comes to protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
The Prime Minister must take real and strong action to protect our Reef, our jobs and our economy.
WEDNESDAY, 5 JULY 2017
THE HON TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR WATSON
THE HON ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, CITIES AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TOURISM
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP
SHADOW MINISTER CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE
SENATOR CLAIRE MOORE
SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND