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Plans announced for 'digitally interactive' reef sculpture in Cairns

A new sculpture in the heart of Cairns aims to take reef preservation to the international stage.


An environmental lobby group has secured funding to build a ‘massive’ sculpture promoting tropical north Queensland’s most precious resource.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef [CGBR] will use $750,000 to create a monument to the reef located on the Cairns Esplanade.

Internationally renowned Indigenous artist Brian Robinson has been commissioned to complete the work which aims to motivate people to protect the World Heritage-listed site.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the project will send a strong message of conservation.

“The new sculpture will become a digitally interactive centrepiece on our beautiful Esplanade,” Mr Pitt says.

“It will be an irresistible Instagram attraction for tourists who’ll be mobilised to become advocates for the protection and health of the Great Barrier Reef through education, conservation and tourism.

“This installation will build on the Council’s stunning redevelopment of Munro Martin Park and add to a new vibrancy in the CBD.”

Ports North Chairman Russell Beer says he is proud to support the initiative.

“Major parts of Ports North’s business are directly linked to the tourism industry with reef and tourism passengers using our facilities to visit the reef each year,” he said.

“We have always taken very seriously the World Heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef and the responsibility we all have to assist in its protection for future generations.

“For this reason we have been sponsoring important environmental initiatives in the region for more than 10 years.

“Our contribution to the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef art sculpture is another example of our continued support for tourism and the iconic Great Barrier Reef.”

CGBR was founded this year and aims to support global action on climate change with a strong focus on preserving the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

The group’s inaugural board members are James Cook University Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding, Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Managing Director Sheriden Morris, Kleinhardt Business Consultants and Brokers Founder Cam Charlton and Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.

The state government has contributed $150,000 to the project with a further $150,000 from Ports North.

Cairns Regional Council has already pledged $300,000 and the Federal Government $150,000.