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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    FNQ job seekers receive marine tourism training

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Friday, July 14, 2017

    FNQ job seekers receive marine tourism training

    An innovative partnership is giving Far North Queensland job seekers a foothold in the tourism industry, under the Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative. 

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured Green Island Marine Park today to see first-hand the success of the initiative supported by Australian Marine Park Tourist Operators.

    “Under this initiative local job seekers are gaining business and scuba diving qualifications - setting them up for a future career in the marine tourism industry,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “My Government is providing $240 million over four years to support Queenslanders getting back to work, partnering with groups like Australian Marine Park Tourist Operators to recruit workers.”

    Col McKenzie from Australian Marine Park Tourist Operators said his association has trained 285 people through Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.

    “This program has seen more than 85% full time employment outcomes.”

    “For participants in this program, it really is life changing, they are being trained on the ground with real life experiences and to see these people gain confidence through the program is inspiring.”

    The Premier said the initiative was not only providing a leg up for job seekers but it was also helping protect the Great Barrier Reef.

    “The crown-of-thorns starfish is a major cause of damage to the Great Barrier Reef and this program is helping more Queenslanders gain training to combat this pest.”

    “The entire control program has been a great success already – with 445 000 starfish culled from reefs offshore from Cairns to Port Douglas.”

    “Marine tourism was an ideal career choice for young job seekers living in the region and Far North Queensland is a popular tourist destination with people coming from all over the world to see the Great Barrier Reef.  It’s great to see this program is providing real skills for job seekers to not only gain employment but to get the opportunity to develop a lasting and fulfilling career,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Environment Minister Steven Miles said projects like this were protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

    "We know a significant proportion of coral loss in recent decades was caused by crown of thorns starfish," Mr Miles said.

    "The work of AMPTO and the young people working on the COTS program has saved many vital reef ecosystems and kept them vibrant for Reef tourism operators and the people who work for them. 

    "We also know those reefs have been more resilient to the recent bleaching events and cyclones.”

    Media Contact:        Premier’s Office-Susan McGrady 0488 996 667