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Letter to the Editor. The Great Barrier Reef is alive

July 12th, 2019 | | backpacker

Dear Sir, I had a thought the other day, being a 30-year veteran of the tourism industry here in ‘Cairns – Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’ that the word all around the world is that the GBR is DEAD.

Europe, the Americas, this ‘fake news’ has spread globally, and oh no, so far from the truth, but it is actually hurting our industry, and therefore our livelihoods. The GBR is ALIVE and on the contrary, refreshing as I type.

Just recently we had the coral actually spawning at an early stage on the Ribbon Reefs NORTH of Cairns and during the day?! Amazing to say the least, took us all by surprise. Go figure, dead coral can’t reproduce. But we witnessed glorious life, and its cycle.

The Great Barrier Reef supports 64,000 jobs and contributes $6.5 Billion to the Australian economy each year. In Cairns, whether you like it or not, tourism generated by the GBR keeps the city alive as the biggest industry here. Now, the whole area and GBR surrounds are suffering because of the nonsensical noise emanating from those ‘not in the know’. From mum and day businesses who bake the breads or grow the fruit & vegetables that our valuable tourists consume on their adventures, to the corporations, all are fighting to survive. Have you considered this?

Since the late 1980’s when the Pilots’ strike hit our tourism town, I was taking ample monies from Backpackers who would arrive in droves off of Greyhound busses up the East Coast of Australia. The hotels suffered and the tourism activities were grateful that the Backpackers still came on busses, as they didn’t travel here on ‘planes.

There are reports now from hotels, tourism operators and indeed banking corporations whom manage the accounts of the industry, stating that now is worse that the Pilots’ strike. We are in fact in a tourism recession here in Cairns. It’s bad, real bad, because of the green groups and fund grabbers getting worldwide attention on their noise that the GBR is dead.

Just like in real life, humans and coral ‘suffer’ in similar ways. We get sick, we get fixed, we rejuvenate – healthy again. Sometimes, when we get chronic sickness or old age, we die. Same for corals on the GBR. The corals that have succumbed to extreme temperatures in the 2 summers up here of NO rain, NO cyclone activity, and very little wind to break up the ‘magnifying glass’ of the water surface, they have indeed recovered, some astonishingly well. A small percentage didn’t make it.

However, like humans, the corals and the GBR are resilient. There most certainly won’t be any bleaching again this summer, the water temperature is hovering around 21 degrees Celsius. Everyone in the industry up here knows full well that the GBR is alive and still awesome.

Anyway, for those keyboard tappers & mislead green eco warriors from far away, whom maybe have NEVER been to the GBR, or even Queensland (except for a holiday with mummy & daddy to the Gold Coast & Dreamworld?) you are ruining our beloved industry with your incorrect nonsense, and I have a theory for you all:

Let’s talk Anal bleaching. Is it similar to coral bleaching? Maybe, maybe not. But the trend that has taken Hollywood by storm over the years is quite pertinent in what my theory is. Imagine if Anal bleaching (or also known as ‘Changing your ring tone’, Albino Starfish, polishing the Sheriff’s rusty badge, etc.) took the world by storm due to … let’s say climate change, or maybe cosmetic change.

Imagine if everyone wanted to treat themselves to a clean butt hole via this process, because the end is nigh, or they want to look good? If we had ALL the world’s population bleach their little sphincters, there would still be ASSHOLES. Correct me if I’m wrong. Lest we forget, there’s too much shit coming out of people who don’t actually understand what is really going on, on our beloved and HEALTHY Great Barrier Reef.

We cordially invite ALL you doomsayers and naysayers here to Cairns – Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef immediately and see for yourselves what absolute beauty lies beneath the Coral Sea surface. We see it daily, and so do many domestic and international tourist whom ‘maybe’ make it here this year. See for your selves and then let’s have another chat about this hey?

You will be actually helping your fellow Australians who rely on this most alive and glorious asset, and perhaps even keeping us in a job. That would be nice, get on a plane, book a hotel, eat delicious fresh food at one of our world class restaurants, support people whose livelihoods you have decimated.

You will be pleasantly surprised about how ALIVE the GBR really is, and its abundance of beautiful healthy corals, and massive schools of brightly coloured fish. For is there is NO coral, there are NO fish, this is called symbiosis, which is the basis for ALL life on the GBR.

Don’t understand? – Google it, or come with me to the GBR and I shall personally explain things through my years of loving this wonder of the world, and you will even see it close up and real, and be blown away by its beauty.

I would love to explain to you about Zooxanthelae and symbionts and how our intensely amazing our coral structures are and will continue to be. Any takers?

Me. Concerned Tourism Citizen – Cairns.

Written by Brett Claxton, Eco Warrior





6 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    This is a bloody good read and not just for the “Albino Starfish” either – I must say that’s a new one to me 😛

    It is true that stuff gets blown out of proportion – this one is just a lot more of a long term proportion blow out than most. In Tasmania we’ll have a bushfire, three weeks after it’s been put out we’ll THEN get someone calling and asking if they can still fly in, what’s the likelihood they’ll get burnt alive and are there any hostels that haven’t been incinerated in Hobart?

    Perspective is a wonderful thing and whether it’s an 80,000 hectare bushfire in Tasmania or a coral bleaching event on the GBR it’s still a very, very small percentage of the destination that’s been affected.

    Our industry has a key role to play in this because too often it’s front line tourism staff (outside the destination) who are helping to spread misinformation when they could be counteracting it.

    Perhaps we need to get on the front foot with some kind of industry information page similar to the Kakadu Road Report, operating nationally? It would list all of the key locations in each state, whether it’s Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay, the 12 Apostles, Whitehaven Beach or the Daintree and either says they’re open, or gives info on when they will be. This way when a guy walks in to a travel agent in Sydney and says he wants to hit the GBR, the agent can get onto the site and suss it out for him.

    • Macca says:

      Thank you Greg,

      I stand to be corrected but in my findings in all of these natural disasters it is local governments and their agencies blow it out of proportion to gain funding.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Greg,

      I’m not sure about the”Albino Starfish” either, I’ve been informed from a reliable source however that you are partial to a cabin-boys chocolate starfish.

  2. Fred Ariel says:

    Albino Starfish sounds like an Asian dish, new to me. Is it related to the Crown of Thorns, is it eatable?

    The point made by the Author and the Editors reply is excellent, an expose’ of fact on the GBR not an over hyped exaggeration by a career government grant grabber, whose lively is obliged to doom, not to spread the remarkable recovery news made by the GBR on minute damage that had a minor setback three years ago.

  3. Gabby says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to see the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRMPA), step it up and use some of the millions that our visitors hand over yearly in marine park fee’s put back into positive marketing of the GBR?

  4. Jason says:

    Because of the internet people can find cheaper options these days that would be closer. I think the world has many great options and we are discovering new destinations that we have never dreamt about.