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Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

NEWS IN 5 / Wednesday 23 June 2021

Enjoy a selection of the latest news affecting the Douglas Shire in brief

Australian Federal Government challenges UNESCO Draft Reef Recommendation

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley says that Australia will strongly oppose a draft World Heritage Committee recommendation that the Great Barrier Reef be singled out for ‘in danger’ listing, citing Australia’s world leading reef management and its $3 billion investment in reef protection.

Australian officials have been stunned by a back flip on previous assurances from UN officials that the Reef would not face such a recommendation prior to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting hosted by China in July, and are concerned about a deviation from normal process in assessing World Heritage Property Conservation status.

Minister Ley said that the draft decision had been made on the basis of a desk top review with insufficient first-hand appreciation of the outstanding science -based strategies being jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.

“The Great Barrier Reef is the best managed reef in the world and this draft recommendation has been made without examining the Reef first hand, and without the latest information,” Minister Ley said.

“In a call to the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, with Foreign Minister Marise Payne overnight, I expressed Australia’s dissatisfaction with the process that is being followed.

“I made it clear that we will contest this flawed approach, one that has been taken without adequate consultation.

“I agree that global climate change is the single biggest threat to the world’s reefs but it is wrong, in our view, to single out the best managed reef in the world for an ‘in danger’ listing.

“When a previous endangered listing was first foreshadowed under Labor in 2012, the Coalition drove the internationally renowned Reef 2050 plan to remove that threat, and that plan continues to set the benchmark in Reef management.”

Great Barrier Reef Legacy Expedition Departing

Great Barrier Reef Legacy depart on their next expedition, alongside Coral Expeditions and Australian Geographic, on June 30, with one of their planned projects being the expansion of the Living Coral Biobank.

On the upcoming expedition, they plan to double current stock, by collecting an additional 35 species. This means that they will already have backups of over 17% of the hard corals found on the Great Barrier Reef! For more information, visit their website: https://coralbiobank.org

The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman Heads North

Aussie music giant Tim Freedman, best known as the mainstay lead singer and keyboardist of The Whitlams, will entertain fans at The Tanks on Friday night on his first regional solo tour with a bunch of classics and a brand new single.

Tim’s new song “takes the boy out of the city” and places him firmly in the country – driving through the hills to see a “Man About a Dog”, as the drought breaks.

Tim and his piano will share stories, reinvent favourites like “Blow Up the Pokies” and “No Aphrodisiac”, and play some tracks from The Whitlams’ forthcoming album.

Get your tickets now and reacquaint yourself with the repertoire of one of Australia’s most-loved bands.

Tim will be supported by Rob Howe. Further Information and Tickets Here ⟼ https://bit.ly/3dghjcP


Retrospective Art Exhibition Launches this Week

Retrospective Past – Present – Future art exhibition hosted by Port Douglas Artists launches Friday.
Local art from the Douglas region’s past, present, and emerging artists will be on exhibition at the Port Douglas Community Hall.
Curated in collaboration with Cairns Art Gallery, the exhibition is a celebration of the rich artistic heritage and culture of the Shire.

The exhibition is funded by the Regional Arts Services Network (RASN) with curatorial support from Cairns Art Gallery.
A Grand Opening for Retrospective will take place on Friday June 25 at 6pm with a cash bar operating during the event.
The exhibition runs from 10am – 4pm daily from June 26 – July 16 at the Port Douglas Community Hall, Mowbray St, Port Douglas.


Would You Like to Help Clean Up at Weary Bay?

Join Dabu Jajikal Aboriginal Corporation and the ReefClean team from Tangaroa Blue Foundation to clean-up Weary Bay in Bloomfield.
A small team of volunteers will head north by bus from Cairns/Port Douglas and will be camping the night at Bloomfield Beach Campground. On Saturday, you will head to Weary Bay for a formal Welcome and Smoking Ceremony from the Dabu Jajikal People, Traditional Custodians of the Land and Sea Country you will be working on.
Spend the morning removing marine debris from the beach before sorting and recording it into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) Database.

Information collected for the Database is then used to trace the debris to the source and work with stakeholders to prevent it from entering the environment in the first place.


Anyone is welcome to join this clean-up! Please just let ReefClean know in advance if you’re going to join on site so that they can cater for everyone’s lunch. For those that need a lift from Cairns/Port Douglas, please register by emailing mathilde@tangaroablue.org.
Volunteers need to wear enclosed shoes, bring sun/rain protection, and plenty of drinking water (1 to 2 litres is recommended).

Naturally, try to ensure that all events are free from single-use plastic, so bring along your reusable water bottle. All equipment and drinking water top-ups will be provided.
ReefClean is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust.

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