Local tourism businesses are rolling-up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty to plant 250 native trees around the region.
The initiative aims to offset the carbon footprint of Bundaberg Tourism’s 2023/24 Official Visitor Guide.
As the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, home to the nation’s most significant endangered loggerhead turtle rookery, and a recently certified ECO Destination, the passionate tourism industry of Bundaberg Region have taken sustainable travel seriously.
The tree-planting initiative is a partnership between Bundaberg Tourism, Bundaberg Regional Council’s One Million Trees program and industry.
Seven tourism operators – Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Lady Musgrave Experience, Kellys Beach Resort, Midskinrick Lodge, Rocky Point Retreat, Bundaberg Port Marina, and NRMA Woodgate Beach Holiday Park – have received native trees seedlings to plant on their own land that are indigenous to the region.
Supplied by Bundaberg Regional Council’s One Million Trees Program, the 250 seedlings will offset the emissions from the printing and delivery of the Visitor Guide.
It will also contribute towards the Council’s vision of planting one million trees across the region, growing natural habitat and nurturing a thriving environment for local wildlife.
Katherine Reid, CEO of Bundaberg Tourism said the printed 2023/24 Official Visitor Guide was an important part of destination promotions.
“Now visitors considering the Bundaberg Region can pick one up from Visitor Information Centres nationwide with the full knowledge that the carbon emissions of its creation have been offset within the destination already,” she said.
“The local community and our tourism industry take great pride in our role as custodians of the Great Barrier Reef, and the enthusiastic uptake by our operators for this initiative demonstrates the genuine commitment they have to protecting our region’s pristine environment for generations to come.
“The Queensland tourism industry has an important leadership role in protecting our fragile ecosystems through positive experiences and education.
“The benefits of ecofriendly initiatives like this will have generational impacts for our community and we hope will also inspire visitors to travel sustainably so future generations can enjoy our pristine beaches, majestic manta rays, reefs-within-reach, and lush national parks.”
Bundaberg Regional Council spokesperson Cr Steve Cooper said the collaboration would help grow greater opportunities for the region.
“Since launching the One Million Trees program and thanks to a whole-of-community approach, we have seen the growth of greener spaces, bringing positive outcomes for our community ensuring our region can continue sharing our natural environment and experiences for locals and guests alike, while looking after our backyard,” he said.
“Council is proud to be working collaboratively with the community and local businesses to grow our regions flora and fauna so that all can enjoy.
“The more organisations and people who dig in and get their hands dirty in support of the One Million Trees program, the more opportunity we have to help our environment thrive.
“Thank you to Bundaberg Tourism, the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and other local tourism operators for initiating plans to get involved.”
Mon Repos Conservation Park Ranger in Charge, Cathy Gatley, shared how planting these native species will have greater impact on the region's natural landscape, keeping conservation front of mind and leading the way for travellers to begin their journey as custodians of the land from the very start.
“For us, being a part of this initiative and the One Million Trees program is more than just reducing emissions, it’s helping us take that step forward as a community, leading the way in sustainable tourism, and helping us preserve the land around us which sees hundreds of turtles nest and hatch at Mon Repos each year,” she said.
“Planting these trees will help us to block our urban glow, bridging the gaps along our foreshore, ensuring we’re able to give the turtles of Mon Repos the best chance at surviving.”