Rise Up For the Reef!
The Port Douglas and surrounding community will come together to raise awareness and demonstrate community opposition to dredging proposals along the Great Barrier Reef coast, with a particular focus on the Cairns Port dredging proposal. This will be an important event and will build momentum for the even larger event planned for Cairns in early April. To get involved in the upcoming Cairns event email marine[at]cafnec.org.au.
When: Sunday, 23 February 2014, 12:00 until 13:00
Where: Port Douglas, from 11.30 at the Surf Club.
For latest news and to Join the facebook event
Heide Taylor – Founder of Tangaroa Blue
Julia Leu – Mayor of Douglas Shire
Josh Coates – Marine Programs Co-ordinator – Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
Representaive (tbd) – Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland
A Douglas Reef Rally 1 hour peaceful procession from the Port Douglas Surf Club at the northern end of 4 Mile Beach along the length of Macrossan Street and into Market Park will take place on Sunday the 23rd of Feb from midday to 1pm.
Escorts from the Queensland Police Service(QPS) will assist the rallys movements along the street from beach to parkland.
This rally is auspiced by the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group (DSSG) – A not for profit local organisation established to protect the environment of the Douglas Shire and promote sustainable development. Supporting organisers include the Environmental Defenders Office of North Queensland (EDOnq), the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) and Tangaroa Blue, the rally will address the communities concerns regarding the recent and imminent decisions by the Federal Government and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to commence dredging and dumping at Abbott Point and to consider the removal of 5 million tonnes of sediment in and around Trinity Inlet in Cairns to facilitate port expansions.
The gathering crowds will be greeted and entertained by award winning local grass roots music act “Timber and Wood” from 11.30 at the Surf Club.
At 12pm in front of the Surf Life Savers Hut between the flags at 4 Mile beach, an indigenous “welcome to country” by respected Kuku Jalanji Traditional Owner – Bennet Walker, will be followed by an address by 1st speaker, the Mayor of the Douglas Shire, Julia Leu.
The crowds, who will have been advised to all wear either green or blue clothing will be then directed by MCs : President of the DSSG, Kevin Kstar Eldridge of KStar Tours and Km Hurley of Radio Port Douglas, to spell the words “SAVE the REEF” in a human formation on the sands of the beach adjacent to the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. This spectacle will be photographed from the lookout by reporters from Newsport Daily Online Magazine and journalists from the Port Douglas Mossman Gazette newspaper. Hopefully a passing helicopter will also capture the scene, before the crowd will begin, at roughly 12.20pm, moving along the entire length of Macrossan Street into Anzac Park which is situated right next to the Sunday Port Douglas Markets and the Port Douglas Police Station and opposite the Courthouse Hotel.
The crowd, directed by the organising committee volunteer marshals led by Ella Shannon of the Port Douglas Happy Herb Shop, who will be noticeably dressed in red clothing, will have been singing songs, chanting slogans, signing petitions, waving placards and generally having a good time on their journey from beach to park and are expected to arrive in the shaded and compact historical Anzac Park at around 12.40pm
This happy mass of humanity will then be entertained by long standing indigenous rock and blues favourites – “the Walker Brothers” of Mossman/Cooya Beach, as they gather to hear the 1st of 3 keynote speakers in Anzac Park.
Speakers include representatives of the associated supporting organisations of Tangaroa Blue – an Australian registered charity focused on the health of our marine environment founded in Port Douglas, CAFNEC – a not-for-profit incorporated association which acts as conservation council for the region and the EDO – a non-profit, non-government community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law.
The audience will learn of just exactly what the proposed dredging and dumping and port expansions involve, how it will directly effect their lives, how people can change their behaviours to assist in environmental protection, and to hear what is being done to challenge these decisions both through the court systems, through industry channels and from a community based grass roots movement of concern.
The speakers are expected to finnish at 1pm where once again a combination of Timber and Wood and the Walker Brothers will entertain the crowd before everyone is invited to learn and participate further in screenings and further presentations of Marine based educational forums and presentations to be held upstairs in the Verandah Bar of the conveniently located Central Hotel.
All monies raised on the day through donations will aid the current legal challenges being mounted through the judicial systems by both CAFNEC and the EDO. All signatories collected will be or the petition directly challenging the federal government and GBRMPA to reconsider the Trinity Inlet, Cairns Port expansion decisions.
The rally has an open invitation to any residents of the Far North Queensland region from Townsville to the Cape to the Savannah. Families are encouraged to bring their children dressed in green and blue with face-paint and marine based costumes.
The Douglas Reef Rally supports any and all actions undertaken by any groups regarding the protection of our amazing natural asset which, along with the rainforest, draws visitation directly supporting up to 80% of the industry in the Far North.
It is vital that the community is seen to support official legal challenges by engaging in direct action and we look forward to an amazing turn-out at both this Douglas Reef Rally and future planned events in the Cairns and surrounding areas.