The Australian Government established a $1 billon COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors severely affected by the coronavirus crisis.
This initiative will provide $3.2 million towards keeping some of the Great Barrier Reef tourism industry activated and help to conserve and protect high value tourism reef sites impacted by COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions.
This initiative will provide some business continuity within the Reef tourism industry through engaging marine tourism operators to undertake in-water conservation and monitoring activities that will ensure tourism sites are well maintained and ready to welcome guests as COVID-19 travel restrictions are eased.
One of the key activities delivered will be the collection of important data from in-water surveys through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef system, improving knowledge and understanding of the impacts on and recovery of reefs following the 2020 mass coral bleaching event.
The initiative will also support ongoing critical reef conservation action activities at high-value marine tourism reef sites such as crown-of-thorns starfish control and local scale reef restoration activities where there are Marine Park permits to do so.
The Great Barrier Reef Maine Park Authority will procure services through an open tender process for the delivery of the described activities and enter into service agreements with suitable applicants. The approach to market documents are available on the Australian Government’s AusTender website (reference ID: ATM000048).
Applicants must have a Marine Parks Tourism Permission and relevant Marine Parks permits for reef conservation activities.
- Completion of in-water Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS) and uploading of data collected to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef system. Primarily from reef tourism sites that your organisations operates to.
- Reef intervention and conservation activities under existing Marine Park permits (e.g. coral gardening, macro-algae removal and crown-of-thorns starfish control)
- Capturing of real-time imagery of the Reef and operational activities to be used in the development of education and communication materials. These materials will be used to educate people about the beauty of the Reef and the need for its protection. They will also be used to support domestic and international tourism campaigns in post COVID-19 recovery.