VETERAN 'Wildlife Warrior' Bob Irwin will hold a public meeting in Townsville on Tuesday to urge local residents to join him in the fight for the Great Barrier Reef.
Bob will outline the threats from industrialisation and let people know how they can help secure a better future for the Reef and the local tourism and jobs that depend on it.
Earlier this year, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF Australia launched a new advertising campaign featuring Bob Irwin, calling on all Australians to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from rapid industrialisation including new ports, dredging, dumping and increased shipping.
The campaign is highlighting the growing concern among Australians and the international community about the speed and scale of industrialisation along the Reef’s coastline.
“The Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but our governments seem to have forgotten that fact. The Reef belongs to all of us, not to big industry to use as a dredge dumping ground and shipping superhighway,” Bob Irwin said.
“The Australian people are the only ones who can make a difference to protecting the Reef.
"It’s your Reef, but you’re going to have to fight for it,” he said.
Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef campaign director for the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said the threats to the Reef are deeply troubling.
“The Queensland Government is fast-tracking mega ports along the Reef and planning to dredge and dump millions of tonnes of mud and rock in the Reef’s waters,” Ms Wishart said.
“The Great Barrier Reef is a major tourist destination generating $6 billion a year and supporting 60,000 jobs. No-one is going to want come half way around the world to see mega industrial ports.
“The fight belongs to everyone.
"We urge Queenslanders to join us at the public meeting in their local town. Come and meet Bob and sign up to fight for the reef,” she said.