26 September 2023

Schools on deck for reef experience

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The Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport says its Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program has been well supported by the State’s schools.

The Department said, to date, 36 schools had been approved for the Program.

Minister for Tourism, Stirling Hinchliffe said more than 1,5oo students from the Gold Coast to Cook Shire would be packing their bags for a school excursion experience of a lifetime on the Great Barrier Reef.

“They’ll travel to the reef during this year’s third and fourth terms,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Mirani State School, near Mackay, will be the first to experience the reef while schools in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Mackay, Cairns and Fraser Coast have also been approved.”

Assistant Minister for Tourism, Michael Healy said more than 45 registered marine tour operators had jumped at the program.

“I’ve been working closely with marine tour operators through the pandemic and the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience is a welcome initiative up and down the reef,” Mr Healy said.

“Reef tours are popular with overseas visitors, so marine tour operators were among the first to be walloped by the pandemic’s closure of the international border.”

He said marine tour operators were experts in their field and knew the Great Barrier Reef better than most.

“They’re keen to share their intricate knowledge of the reef with the students, who will be the future guardians of our State’s biggest living asset,” Mr Healy said.

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