Reef sur­vey launched

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

MEM­BERS of the Aus­tralian Ma­rine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety (AMCS) hit the streets of Air­lie Beach on Satur­day to see what lo­cal res­i­dents iden­ti­fied as the big­gest threats to the Great Bar­rier Reef.

AMCS re­gional cam­paigner Cherry Mud­dle said peo­ple were asked a num­ber of ques­tions en­abling them to rank the im­por­tance of var­i­ous threats to the reef.

“Within ten days Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt is ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion on three mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of dump­ing and dredg­ing in the reef’s waters off Ab­bot Point,” she said.

“We al­ready know that 82 per cent of Aus­tralians want dredge spoil dump­ing banned in the Great Bar­rier Reef but we feel it’s im­por­tant to know what reef com­mu­ni­ties feel about the Ab­bot Point pro­posal.”

Ms Mud­dle said thanks to “an amaz­ing group of vol­un­teers” AMCS had al­ready sur­veyed 150 peo­ple and hoped to reach their goal of 400 peo­ple by the end of next weekend.

“So far, we’ve had a groundswell of sup­port from in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses for pro­tect­ing the reef – the re­sponse has been pos­i­tive,” she said.

“Most peo­ple are happy to spare a few min­utes to have their say on the Great Bar­rier Reef.”

AMCS vol­un­teers will con­tinue to be out and about with the sur­vey for the next week. It can also be com­pleted online at https://www.sur­veymon­key.com/s/P7FB3DN.

Mean­while mem­bers of the re­cently formed Busi­nesses United for Reef Pro­tec­tion group are now also await­ing news on the pro­posal for re­lo­cat­ing dredge spoil from Ab­bot Point.

The en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter is due to make a de­ci­sion by next Fri­day, De­cem­ber 13.

REEF RES­CUE: Aus­tralian Ma­rine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety mem­ber Cherry Mud­dle talks about the reef sur­vey with lo­cal res­i­dent Paul Jukes at the Air­lie Beach Mar­kets on Satur­day.

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