The Great Barrier Reef will be on display at the Ekka with a focus on encouraging Queenslanders to help protect this international icon.
Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said it was a great opportunity to showcase the reef at Queensland’s largest annual event, now in its 140th year.
“Close to 400,000 people pass through the Ekka gates over 10 days which is why we wanted to make the Royal Queensland Show our finale for the Reef Think Tank roadshow,” Mr Miles said.
“This educational display, developed in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, aims to raise understanding of the key threats facing coral reefs and how we can help address them.
“For the first time, there will be children’s fireworks and organisers have taken their inspiration from the stunning colours of the Reef.
“The fireworks will start at 6pm so children won’t have to wait up past their bedtime.
“There’s also going to be giant kites featuring fish, dolphins and whales, with stilt walkers themed in flowing ocean costumes making for a great Reef-inspired spectacle.”
The display has appeared at seven regional events over the last three months including the Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and the Pine Rivers Shows.
“The Ekka will be a fitting finale to what has been an extraordinary journey to connect with as many people as possible to show how everyone has a role to play in keeping our reef great,” Mr Miles said.
“As we’ve seen recently, two consecutive years of coral bleaching has taken its toll on the reef.
“While efforts to tackle climate change are underway, we are focused on improving the quality of water flowing to the reef and building its resilience.
“Small everyday actions such as reducing, reusing and recycling and using fewer chemicals and fertilisers, can make a huge impact on our national treasure particularly when hundreds and thousands of people follow suit.”
Great Barrier Reef Managing Director Anna Marsden said the Ekka display will feature a live coral display and showcase of QUT’s marine research to help inspire new conversations about the reef.
“The reef is Australia’s greatest natural wonder and we all share responsibility for its future,” Ms Marsden said.
“Through the Reef Think Tank, we are talking with Queenslanders about how their everyday actions, such as saving energy and recycling, can help keep the reef great. We hope they’ll then share these ideas with their family and friends to multiply the impact.
“People also love to tell us about their own Great Barrier Reef experiences which is why we’re thrilled to be able to offer our display visitors a chance to win a once in a lifetime research expedition to the Great Barrier Reef with marine biologist and Emmy Award-winning ocean cinematographer Richard Fitzpatrick.
“Everyone who completes our reef scientist quiz will go in the draw to win while they’re also finding out more about what makes our reef great.”
Entries in the online reef scientist quiz, which tests people’s knowledge of what is great and not great for the Great Barrier Reef, close on 1 October 2017.
The Royal Queensland Show runs from 11 – 20 August and more information is available at www.ekka.com.au
The reef scientist quiz is also available online at www.barrierreef.org/great
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles