Misinformation is the biggest threat to our Reef

Published Monday, 28 April, 2014 at 05:12 PM


Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Jann Stuckey

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
The Honourable Andrew Powell

The Queensland Government has called on environmental groups and organisations to stop peddling misinformation regarding the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said the deceitful campaigns are an attack on Queensland’s reputation and harmful to jobs.

“These alarmist claims are doing nothing but muddying the waters around the real threats to the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Powell said.

“There comes a time when you have to call these organisations and groups on their scandalous behaviour.

“I am disappointed to see companies like Ben and Jerry’s signing up to a campaign of lies and deceit that has been propagated by WWF and are circulating it to our kids, to young people, to Queenslanders more broadly without first checking the facts.

“Fortunately Queenslanders are smarter than that, Australians are smarter and UNESCO is certainly smarter and will not pander to the scare campaigns that are currently being run.

“The science is clear. The greatest threats to the Reef are extreme weather events and the crown of thorns star fish and we are taking action to address those issues and improve water quality.”

Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey said the Newman Government has a proud track record of promoting the Great Barrier Reef throughout the world.

“On any given day we have a campaign in the market somewhere around the world. Recent examples have been Finding Nemo 3D, the ‘This is our Paradise’ campaign, ReefLive broadcast and of course last night’s Australian themed Modern Family episode,” Ms Stuckey said.

“If companies like Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s invested the same amount of interest and finance in a positive campaign then imagine what it could do for tourism in Queensland.

“We have worked in partnership with operators to see this industry rebuild itself after years of neglect. Peddling these false claims will only damage a sector that is on the rebound.

“The truth is the reef is looking fantastic. The only threat to tourism and the reef is this misguided and ill-informed campaign.”

For more information, visit www.reeffacts.qld.gov.au

Audio available: http://youtu.be/nDiwMgLjg1k

Audio available: https://soundcloud.com/andrewpowellmp/reef-misinformation

[ENDS] 28 April 2014

Media Contact: Minister Powell’s Office - 37197335

Media Contact: Minister Stuckey’s Office - 3719 7240