Vis­i­bil­ity amaz­ing as mes­sage spreads

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE MCKIL­LOP

WHILE south­ern me­dia out­lets are re­port­ing about the im­pact of tur­bid flood­wa­ters on the Great Bar­rier Reef, lo­cals and tourists to Port Dou­glas are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the best un­der­wa­ter vis­i­bil­ity ever seen.

Claims of a pos­si­ble ex­plo­sion of al­gal blooms and co­ral bleach­ing are look­ing rather shal­low, with Quick­sil­ver ma­rine bi­ol­o­gist Rus­sell Hore ex­plain­ing he had never seen the reef look­ing bet­ter, with ex­cep­tional vis­i­bil­ity of up to 20 me­tres recorded at Agin­court Reef in the past few weeks.

“It’s been clear, it’s been lovely and the reef is look­ing fan­tas­tic,” Mr Hore said.

“For us, it’s busi­ness as usual as we en­joy the great con­di­tions.”

He said the pos­i­tive mes­sage from Tourism Queens­land and other sources seemed to be mak­ing it through to pas­sen­gers he had spo­ken re­cently.

“I’ve made a point of ask­ing peo­ple on my snorkel tour whether they were aware of what was hap­pen­ing in Queens­land be­fore they came and all of them seemed to know the reef and the trop­ics would not be af­fected by the floods and the iso­lated ef­fect on the reef was go­ing to be on lo­calised ar­eas,” he said.

Mean­while, Tourism Queens­land is step­ping up its cam­paign to tell the rest of the world what lo­cals al­ready know - Port Dou­glas is a great place to be even in the wet sea­son.

An on­line video posted on YouTube un­der the slo­gan ’Port Dou­glas still shines in the rain!’ tack­les head-on the mis­per­cep­tion cre­ated by na­tional and global me­dia cov­er­age the en­tire state had been dev­as­tated by flood.

The three-minute video was shot on a sin­gle day by lo­cal videog­ra­pher David Vivien fea­tur­ing vis­i­tors mak­ing the most of their trop­i­cal hol­i­day in a range of typ­i­cally beau­ti­ful set­tings.

Al­ready the YouTube vi­sion has at­tracted hun­dreds of hits with a mul­ti­plier ef­fect ex­pected to take it around the world as it ex­tends to so­cial net­work­ing fo­rums.

“The whole thing is about get­ting the mes­sage out about why peo­ple love this place, to get vi­ral with it, to blog it and tweet it and get Port out there,” he said. “The feed­back has been so pos­i­tive.”

Photo by OAK BEACH PRO­DUC­TIONS / PO­SEI­DON

Never bet­ter: vis­i­bil­ity at Agin­court

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