Reef walk cam­paign comes to Air­lie Beach

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Rhi­anna Bull

IT HAS be­come grand­mother June Nor­man’s mis­sion to com­plete an epic 80 day, 1200 kilo­me­tre jour­ney to save the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Her ar­rival in the Whit­sun­days marked the halfway point of her jour­ney as she walked with a crowd of more than 30 Whit­sun­day res­i­dents from the Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue (VMR) build­ing to the Air­lie Beach fore­shore on Satur­day.

Ms Nor­man said she was com­plet­ing the walk from Cairns to Glad­stone to raise aware­ness about the threats to the reef from in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tions and mega-ports.

“The reef is our chil­dren’s fu­ture, this is my grand­chil- dren’s fu­ture and I don’t want to see them stand­ing on my grave say­ing ‘why did you al­low this to hap­pen?’,” the 72year-old said.

“I hope to em­power the ev­ery­day per­son to stand up and have a say and speak out so we can pre­serve the reef for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

Founder of Or­der of the Un­der­wa­ter Coral Heroes (OUCH) Tony Fontes said the reef was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and urged com­mu­nity mem­bers to take ac­tion.

“Be­ing a diver, the reef is my liveli­hood and the most no­table ef­fect is the degra­da­tion of coral which has to do with the im­pacts we are cre­at­ing such as wa­ter qual­ity, cli­mate change and coal port ex­pan­sion,” he said.

Greens can­di­date for Daw­son Jonathon Dykyj said it was pos­i­tive see­ing the com­mu­nity come to­gether to raise aware­ness about the is­sues that are im­pact­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef.

“There are a num­ber of en­vi­ron­ment is­sues in ply but our econ­omy is also tightly linked to the health of the reef through tourism and fish­ing, and so I am here to stand along­side the com­mu­nity and help voice those opin­ions,” he said.

Ms Nor­man will be ar­riv­ing in Mackay to­mor­row, with the walk con­clud­ing upon her ar­rival in Glad­stone next month.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit

EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL CAM­PAIGN: Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cherry Mud­dle joined grand­mother June Nor­man at the VMR on Satur­day to help her com­plete the walk to the Air­lie Beach fore­shore which marks the half way point of an epic 80 day, 1200 kilo­me­tre jour­ney to save the Great Bar­rier Reef.

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