How restoring reef and forest can save tourism industry
A PROPOSED $255 million stimulus package to restore oceans and rainforest has been launched as a way forward out of the coronavirus doldrums for the tourist sector.
Called the Green and Blue Economic Stimulus Package, the initiative is the collaboration of stakeholders including Advance Cairns, Tropical Tourism North Queensland and other agencies.
"The package prioritises projects and activities that creates jobs and strengthens the health of our natural areas," the package's prospectus states.
Three projects require $55 million in funding for land and habitat resilience, coral reef regeneration, mangrove planting and science, and developing the "smart green capital of Australia".
"The additional funding requested to implement the overall stimulus package is estimated to be $200 million," the prospectus states.
The program's implementation depends on upskilling and redirecting pools of young people who would be employed in the tourism sector.
Chairman of the Mulgrave Landcare Catchment Group, Tony Rossi, said the money invested into the stimulus package would feed into the local Far Northern economy.
"If the government is interested in improving water quality, it can invest in alternative technologies and practice changes," Mr Rossi said.
"If groups are well led we can make a real difference to the landscape."
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said maintaining the natural environment was essential to the recovery of the Far Northern economy. "Our natural assets are fundamental to job creation," Mr Healy said.
"This initiative is grassroots and we can take it to Brisbane."
Originally published as How restoring reef and forest can save tourism industry