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9th March 2021

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering $1 million to get Queensland school students to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Member for Nicklin, Robert Skelton MP said the Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program would run over three years and give Sunshine Coast kids a learning experience of a lifetime.

“We’re providing up to $150 for eligible students to get to a Great Barrier Reef experience and explore one of the seven wonders of the natural world- the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Skelton said.

“That’s $150 towards travel, accommodation or the cost of a Great Barrier Reef expedition. “It helps the tourism industry and primary and secondary students to get out into the field for school curriculum activities including reef biodiversity and science.”

“This opportunity will bring the classroom to the coral for our students and give a helping hand to tourism operators.

“This is additional investment by the Palaszczuk Government to encourage young Queenslanders to explore the reef and help support jobs for the tourism industry economic recovery.

“Helping young Queenslanders to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef puts money in the pocket of reef tour operators and builds knowledge for the next generation.

“The program will commence from Term 3 and subsidise Great Barrier Reef experiences between the Cooktown and Bundaberg regions.

The Great Barrier Reef Education Experience Program has been welcomed by Gareth Phillips, CEO Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators

“The Great Barrier Reef Marine Tourism Industry has been delivering educational experiences for many years and this subsidy will help schools to get access to these education programs,” Mr Phillips said.

“This will provide pupils with a greater understanding of the complexities of the Great Barrier Reef and inspire them further.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the $1 million program for young reef explorers was similar to the Palaszczuk Government’s existing Outback Queensland Education Experience program.

“Over the last decade, we’ve helped up to 6 000 students to visit and explore Western Queensland and now we’re expanding our educational focus to the wonders of the northern reach of the reef.” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“While the return of international travel is still some way off, the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to help tourism rebuild better.”

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