This weekend the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority marks a very special occasion – 40 years of working to ensure the long-term protection of one of the world’s most diverse and remarkable ecosystems.
To mark 40 years of Reef management, I encourage families of all ages from Townsville and the surrounding region to attend the ‘Celebrate the Reef’ event at Jezzine Barracks between 9am and 3pm on Saturday October 17.
This is a chance for Queenslanders to celebrate an international icon based right in their backyard – the beautiful and majestic Great Barrier Reef.
The Australian Government, through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, has worked extensively with the community to manage this natural wonder so it's protected for current and future generations.
Australia has been recognised by the United Nations World Heritage Committee Chair as a global role model for its management of the Reef.
At the event on Saturday, two rehabilitated turtles will be released and visitors can inspect one of the many vessels used by rangers to look after the Marine Park.
Earlier in the day, from 8am to 9am, residents can help actively protect the Reef ahead of the wet season by heading down to Rowes Bay to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Clean-up.
The $700,000 initiative funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust will reduce marine debris and involve 13 clean-ups from Cape York to Bundaberg between October 17 and 25.
The clean-ups will be delivered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in partnership with Tangaroa Blue and Eco Barge Clean Seas.
It is an example of the many valuable partnerships that the Australian Government has formed over the last 40 years with the local community, Traditional Owners, other government agencies and industry to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
This Government is building the health and resilience of the Reef to protect this national icon for our children and grandchildren.
This year we launched the Reef 2050 Plan, which serves as an overarching framework for Reef protection.
We introduced a ban on capital dredge disposal in the Marine Park, have increased monitoring efforts, boosted protection of turtles and dugongs and continued vital work to reduce land-based run-off into the Reef.
I encourage locals and visitors to Townsville to get involved and come along to ‘Celebrate the Reef’.
Event details are available online at www.gbrmpa.gov.au