The ongoing debate about the health of the Great Barrier Reef is undermining the Far North’s once mighty tourism industry.
LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli said he had spent the past 24 hours diving off Cairns to draw attention to the fact the reef remained a world class destination.
“The Palaszczuk Government has been prepared to sit back and allow our reputation to be trashed by people seeking to use damage to sections of the reef to peddle a climate change agenda,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“I have seen first-hand the rejuvenation of parts of the reef decimated by cyclone and coral bleaching.
“This doesn’t mean for one second we don’t need to do more to protect the reef from run-off, deal with crown of thorns or be part of the solution to our warming waters.
“But when tourists are steering clear of this magnificent wonder of the world, we need to call out the mistruths.”
Mr Crisafulli said confidence was at record lows and it was clear it had reached crisis point.
“I’ve spoken to operators who’ve told me about the worst economic conditions since the pilot strike three decades ago,” he said.
“But the Palaszczuk Government isn’t prepared to stand up to the knockers for fear of offending their green masters in Brisbane.
“The reef has copped all Mother Nature has thrown at it and large parts are recovering well.
“We need to do all we can to step up our protection of it at the same time as ramping up the promotion of its beauty.”