Opposition spokesman for Climate Change and Energy Pat Conroy and Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Opposition spokesman for Climate Change and Energy Pat Conroy and Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Pledge to take on Great Barrier Reef pest

THE success of crown of thorns eradication attempts lies in reducing climate change.

That's the message from Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators executive officer Col McKenzie.

Mr McKenzie yesterday met Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith and Opposition spokesman for climate change and energy Pat Conroy to discuss the future of the Great Barrier Reef's health.

The Federal Labor party has detailed how it would spend $440 million allocated to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, should it win government at the election. Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators Executive Officer Col McKenzie (left) talks about the Crown of Thorns starfish with Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith and Opposition spokesman for Climate Change and Energy Pat Conroy. P
The Federal Labor party has detailed how it would spend $440 million allocated to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, should it win government at the election. Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators Executive Officer Col McKenzie (left) talks about the Crown of Thorns starfish with Labor candidate for Leichhardt Elida Faith and Opposition spokesman for Climate Change and Energy Pat Conroy. P


Ms Faith said Labor's election promises included redistributing the $444 million of government funds allocated to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to Far Northern groups.

"We want to make sure that funding continues so we can continue to combat the crown of thorns, keep our Great Barrier Reef beautiful and keep our tourists coming here to see the natural wonder of the world," she said.

"I haven't seen the crown of thorn starfish, but I'm hoping that if I am successful at this upcoming election that Col (McKenzie) will take me out to look at the crown of thorns starfish.

"I know that in years past being out snorkelling and diving there has been a change to our corals."

Mr McKenzie said the Reef was being relentlessly attacked by both the feral starfish and climate change and action was needed on both fronts.

"If you only have a small amount of coral that has survived the bleaching event, and then you let the crown of thorns eat away at that, we're just compounding the issue," he said.

"If we don't deal with climate change in (an) aggressive way … all of the fragile coral and … fish will disappear."


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