Everything you need to know about the Great Barrier Reef


the reef is under pressure particularly

from climate change but it is an amazing

vibrant thriving beautiful ecosystem

more than ever before it needs us to

work harder to protect it but there is

still future hope for the reef very much

if we are determined in what we do from

now on


that's where tourism really acts as a

vehicle to bring people from all around

the world not just to stir before around

the world would see this beautiful place

fall in love with it and then want to

protect it I talked about a million

little actions that got us to where we

are each action whether it's turning off

the light whether it's walking instead

of driving your car planning another

tree in your backyard in some different

country from Australia all those things

contribute to the climate change

challenge because as our scientists have

said to us we can do all the work we

want locally and we are I think there's

no question that we're likely in

Australia enormous effort is being done

but we need everyone to work together

and I think that's where tourism is

great you get out there you have a

snorkel you realize this place needs

protecting but you're not just

protecting here protecting the whole

planet and that's what really matters

because this is the canary in the coal

mine it's saying if you don't look after

me I wouldn't you're not looking after

your own home it's not next generations

gonna deal with this it has to be done

now what we're trying to do the citizens

project is build a 21st century

conservation NGO and that means you have

to think about things like the shared

economy you have to think about material

use there's a whole load of complexity

that needs to be added into what the

individual can do it requires the world

to step up it's a massive effort but it

should be not the poster child for

climate change but much more point of

inspiration for change

we have an incredibly tightly regulated

tourism industry

you can't run a commercial tourism

operation in the Great Barrier Reef

Marine Park without a permit from the

Authority and we take that permitting

process very seriously but that sort of

sets the minimum standard if you like

and many operators go way beyond that

minimum standard and so we have a high

standard tourism operators program which

recognises the fact that although we set

a minimum behavioral standards through

permitting many operators go well beyond

that they actually become stewards of

the reef and our partners in protecting

the reef and in fact they are an

essential element of how we protect the

reef tourism operators are always giving

us intelligence about what's going on

out there they are very often our eyes

and ears that tell us first and things

that are changing on the reef before we

realize it before the scientists realize

they are educators and communicators and

as I'm sure you can see on this panel

they inspire people from all over the

world to realize how brilliant the rig

needs the reef is a vast very remote

wilderness you can't just park in a car

park and go for a walk through the Great

Barrier Reef

you know you need substantial

infrastructure planes helicopters

vessels pontoons island resorts and the

tourism industry is invested in all of

that and that provides the doorway to

the reef for everyone who comes here

every single tourist who visits theory

actually helps contribute to its

protection so we have an environmental

levee every tourist who sees the reef

pays a small amount that small amounts

they add up and that money goes directly

to the care and protection of the Great

Barrier Reef Marine Park

so tourism is our partner in protecting

the park and an essential part of the

parks view it's about partnerships it's

about working together and we've got

we've got public and private you know

we've got government departments from

from this from the Commonwealth to the

state to the regionals to the locals and

then of course we got the tourist

operators we've got the scientists

all have the same common oil we all know

how much they've all fall in love with

this place they will want to protect it

the reef is the most extraordinary

ecosystem on the planet and so we just

have to keep remembering that there is

nothing that can replace it get

underwater and don't go away with a

sound right go away with a better

understanding and that's what we're

trying to do for every single one of our

visitors is go away with a richer

understanding through your personal

experience of the reef

not only about what we have here but how

you personally connect to the ring at

the end of the day we are all connected

and it's through that that we're going

to change the way that we approach the

greater future of the reef I have taken

several hundred people to see the Great

Barrier Reef and I've had experiences

from people that are ranged from just

open weeping tears of joy to people who

have just stared at me wide-eyed and

said you have just changed my life I

cannot believe what I just saw come and

see it it will blow you away I guarantee


I have worked him thirty years it still

blows me away there's something

different every time you don't know what

you're gonna see but you do know that

it's going to be spectacular so by all

means be responsible global citizens but

just come because it's awesome and it

will blow you away