New moorings enhance protection for Great Barrier Reef

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs The Honourable Leanne Linard
  • Thirty new environmentally-friendly public moorings have been installed across the Whitsundays to protect sensitive coral.
  • The Palaszczuk Government’s $3.9 million Reef Trails project is reducing harmful anchoring and improving public access to the Great Barrier Reef.

Thirty new public moorings have been installed and are ready for public use across the Whitsundays to help protect sensitive coral on the Great Barrier Reef.

The new environmentally-friendly vessel moorings are located at key points on the reef to provide safe and sustainable access to some of the Whitsundays’ most popular snorkelling and anchorage sites.

The new moorings are in addition to 30 similar moorings installed in 2021 and takes the total number of public moorings between the Whitsundays and Townsville to 246.

The new public moorings are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $3.9 million Reef Trails project to reduce anchor damage on coral reefs and improve public access to the Great Barrier Reef.

The moorings will be managed and maintained through the Reef Joint Field Management Program, which is funded by the Queensland and Australian governments to deliver crucial on-ground actions to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Quotes attributable to Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert:

“The Mackay and Whitsunday region is blessed to have the amazing Great Barrier Reef right on its doorstep, with locals and tourists alike able to take to the water and explore the amazing underwater coral ecosystem and the many species who call it home.

“We need to do everything we can to protect the reef and that’s why these new moorings are so important.

“Installing these new public boat moorings is essential to minimising anchor damage, protecting sensitive receiving habitats, including corals, coral reefs and seagrass meadows and ensuring the long-term health and vitality of this natural wonder.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard:

“The Palaszczuk Government has a track record in protecting the iconic Great Barrier Reef so it can be enjoyed by Queenslanders and visitors now and for generations to come.

“The 347 public moorings throughout the Great Barrier Reef are a strategic step towards sustainable tourism. They reduce the ecological impact of vessels and provide responsible access for visitors, striking a balance between conservation and enjoyment of this World Heritage site.

“Investing in eco-friendly moorings is not only good for the environment but also good for the local economy as it attracts eco-conscious tourists who are willing to pay for sustainable tourism experiences.”

Quotes attributable to Trevor Rees, Managing Director of Whitsunday Escape:

“The new moorings are proving to be excellent in reducing anchoring from our customers and domestic boats. They provide a great opportunity to disperse people around the area.

“It’s been progressive over time, but these new moorings help in providing positive environmental outcomes by reducing the coral damage. In some areas it’s even encouraging seagrass to grow because people aren’t anchoring and of course, it’s also a big win for improving water quality outcomes.

“Chalkies Beach is a prime example of an area where there wasn’t a safe anchorage but now with the moorings there’s quite a few great options for anchorage there.”

/Public Release. View in full here.