MEDIA RELEASE | Date: 3 November 2021
The ‘Zero Emissions – Marine Tourism Event’ is a joint event hosted by the Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub and the Coral Sea Academy.
The event is the first of many scheduled as part of the Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project. This project is led by the Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub, through which marine tourism program partners will collaborate and innovate to actively measure and reduce their carbon footprint.
Lee Hawkins, Whitsunday Climate Innovation Hub, explains the importance of hosting such events for the marine tourism industry as the Whitsundays works towards achieving sustainable destination status.
“Whitsunday tourism operators are busy operations and finding time to investigate new and flexible zero/low emissions technologies can be challenging. The Whitsunday Climate Innovation Hub is dedicated to developing and sharing innovative and practical solutions to help the region mitigate climate change, and this event is a wonderful opportunity to share the latest in zero/low emissions solutions.”
Developments in hydrogen and electric technology will be discussed and marine tourism operators given the opportunity to discover how these technologies can assist with future-proofing their businesses. Guest Speaker, Frank Hobson, has plans for the first hydrogen powered renewable energy commercial tourism vessel for the Whitsundays, Rendezvous, and will share his vision for sustainable tourism with the attendees.
“The Whitsundays has the opportunity to lead the way in zero emission tourism showing the world how to travel sustainably”, Frank Hobson explains.
“Given its natural beauty and numerous untouched islands, what better place is there to launch one of Australia’s first hydrogen powered marine vessels and pave the way for a future where travel by sea is emission free”.
The event will take place at The Lookout Lounge, Coral Sea Marina on Tuesday 16 November from 10am – 12.30pm.
The marine tourism sector in the Whitsundays is heavily committed to the stewardship of the Great Barrier Reef and many operators have emerged as industry leaders for sustainable tourism best practice. The Zero Emissions Marine Tourism Event hopes to provide operators additional access to information on the latest hydrogen and electric technologies and show how they can incorporate these technologies into their own business operations.
Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project
Kate Purdie, CEO of Coral Sea Marina, explains “We are proud partners of the Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project and are pleased to have the opportunity to host this event through our Coral Sea Academy, in conjunction with Whitsunday Climate Change Innovation Hub.
Promoting sustainable boating is one of the core principles of our Coral Sea Academy and the marina’s environmental policy. Actively supporting our marine tourism operators, as well as our private guests, to seek out ways to reduce emissions and their impact on the environment is of the utmost importance. There are currently some incredibly innovative green technologies available on the market for boat owners, and events such as this provide exposure for these products, as well as a forum for valuable discussion on best practices within the industry.”
Many of the Whitsunday Tourism operators are Eco-Tourism accredited, some with Climate Action status, indicating a true commitment to lowering their environmental footprint and positively contributing to being a more sustainable tourism destination.
Marine Tourism Operators
Julie Telford, owner of award-winning Red Cat Adventures explains of their business commitment to lowering emissions, “The pure joy and wonder felt when visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is something that every person should be able to experience for generations to come.”
“It is more important than ever that we educate and empower ourselves to take action, big or small, to protect and preserve this incredible icon for future generations,” she explains. “By becoming Climate Action Leaders and focusing on sustainability we hope to create a legacy of conservation that will help preserve this special place we call home”.
This event is a positive step towards defining the current barriers to decarbonisation in the marine tourism industry and will offer the industry real-life solutions to this challenge.
Other guest speakers confirmed for this event are Aaron Smith from the H2 Energy Company, Rachael Oudyn from Queensland Hydrogen Taskforce and Leif Stavostrand from Evoy, a world leading electric boat motor developer. The event will take a lecture-style format with a Q&A with the panel allowing marine tourism operators to delve deep into the challenges they face in this space.
The event is open to the marine tourism industry, as well as any private vessel owners, who are also looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment whilst still enjoying the quintessential Queensland boating lifestyle.
About the Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project
The project is made possible via collaboration with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation through the Reef Islands Initiative. The Reef Islands Initiative is a Great Barrier Reef Foundation program, supported by funding from Lendlease, the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Queensland Government and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation.
About Coral Sea Academy
Coral Sea Academy is an Edu-Tourism initiative of Coral Sea Marina Resort, providing interactive and engaging events which consciously connect visitors and the local community to boating, the environment and themselves, leaving them feeling inspired and empowered.