Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Tour operator shuns taking Greens senators to Barrier Reef over fears of ‘bad publicity’

Tour operator shuns taking Greens senators to Barrier Reef over fears of ‘bad publicity’
May 3, 2016

A tour operator in Cairns has refused to take Greens senators to view coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef because negative publicity would be detrimental to the local tourism industry.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale and senator Larissa Waters announced a suite of election policies in Cairns last week that were aimed at protecting the reef, including a transition away from fossil fuels.

The President of the Cairns Professional Fishing Association and local charter boat operator, Daniel McCarthy, told 612 ABC Brisbane he had been asked to take the Greens senators and a scientist to specifically see areas where the reef had been bleached.

McCarthy (pictured above) said the Greens' visit would inadvertently create bad publicity for the tourism sector.

McCarthy stated “I made if perfectly clear that I wouldn't have any part of a day on the reef that was going to further build this bloody hysteria story that the reef is dead and all these outlandish claims that is doing a massive amount of damage to the reef's reputation and to the tourism industry's reputation around the globe.

"That reputation is often fed by ... by the Greens or radical green groups around the country (who) have no qualms about at all about fudging the truth to a great extent and they don't care who gets hurt on the way."

McCarthy, who is also a former Senate candidate for the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, said the reality was although there was some bleaching on some reefs, most of that was coming back.

He stated "I've been here for 30 years - we've lived through plenty of these types of things, where it's a cyclone that's denigrated the reef apparently - the media's picture of it is 'the world's ending, the reef's gone'.

"If we believed all that - the reef's gone so many times over it's not funny … but it's generally not true.

"Here in north Queensland, our regional economy suffers severely because of the negative press and that is a major problem and that is what we need to stop.

"It was on that basis I refused to take them (the Greens senators) out - I'm not going to feed into that agenda."

Mr McCarthy said a comment by Sir David Attenborough in a recent BBC documentary that the reef was in "grave danger" had been blown out of proportion by the "negative press".

He added “people will pick up on one line and they will run away with it and blow it out of proportion.” McCarthy stated that over several decades he had witnessed areas that had been wiped out by cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish and bleaching, adding "you go back to those areas in a couple of years' time and they are more amazing then they were before.

"It's like a bushfire going through clearing out the old and letting the new stuff come through.

"It's a living, rejuvenating organism and the scientists will tell you how it has come to be how it is — its layers die off, new layers grow on top — and that's how it builds up."

He said local tourism operators and booking agents were "snowed under" with people saying they wanted to cancel their trips to the region because media reports had made them believe there was no reef left.

However, he said people who had ending up visiting the reef always said it exceeded their expectations and "looked like a postcard".

"Is it 100% perfect, no - and it probably never has been.”

Senator Waters said she and Senator Di Natale visited several reef sites with another tour operator on Thursday, with scientist Professor Justin Marshall, the head of CoralWatch, on board.

She said the tour included seeing a mixture of healthy and bleached coral.

Senator Waters stated "I've met with a lot of them (scientists) in the last few weeks, but until you see it with your own eyes, you can't really fathom what the devastation can be like.”

She added “when people like David Attenborough are saying it might be gone in decades - that's not a man who is prone to exaggeration - and he has no vested interest in talking up the damage.

"I feel for the tourism operators because the don't want customers to cancel their trips because they think there's nothing left to see, but this problem won't go away by ignoring it."

23rd December 2015 - GREAT BARRIER REEF TOURISM OPERATORS CONSIDER IMPLICATIONS OF COAL PORT SPOIL DUMPING

14th December 2015 - TOURISM LEADERS WELCOME PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

1st October 2015 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA BEGINS FILMING ON $40 MILLION AQUATIC AND COASTAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

5th July 2015 - MINISTER CLAIMS UNESCO GREAT BARRIER REEF DECISION SHOWS AUSTRALIA WORLD LEADERSHIP

31st May 2015 - NORTH QUEENSLAND TOURISM WORKS TO PROTECT GREAT BARRIER REEF

17th March 2015 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA BACKS SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH GREAT BARRIER REEF DOCUMENTARY PROJECT


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

RHINOPLAY

Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces

 
 

SYNERGY FITNESS

The Calgym/Synergy group has had a long and proud history since 1976 as world leaders in the innovation, design and evolution of commercial strength and conditioning equipment. The Synergy group was…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

Supreme Heating

Supreme Heating is a proud Australian owned company specialising in the latest energy efficient heating solutions. Since 1990, Supreme Heating has designed and installed commercial pool heating…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation

 
 

Neptune Benson

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation

 
 

AlphaFit

AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Rae-Line

Sports Padding At Rae-Line we manufacture high quality sports padding, gym mats, foam mats and protective padding, suitable for a range of different facilities. Our sports padding is…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Sport

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business