17.9 C
Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Climate change threatens natural wonders

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

It’s D-Day for Byron’s Marvell Street DA

Will a controversial hotel development in central Byron that exceeds both height and floor space limits be given conditional approval at this week’s Byron Council meeting?

Flickerfest tour returns to the Northern Rivers

Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Flickerfest is bringing its National Tour to The Regent Cinema Murwillumbah for one big film packed this weekend

Marvell Hall’s ‘Dangerously Poetic’ fundraiser

This Sunday Marvell Hall will host a tribute to some of the street-named fellows with poetry, music and portraits as a fundraiser for the hall.

Locavores out and about

The sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so is the barbeque… or picnic, at this...

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As...

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Popular natural tourist attractions including the Great Barrier Reef and Australia’s famous beaches are at risk because of the damaging effects of climate change, according to a Climate Council report.

The not-for-profit group says Australia’s tourism is in the firing line as rising sea levels threaten more than half of Australia’s coastline, heatwaves keep people out of our cities and coral bleaching kills the Great Barrier Reef.

“Tourists travel across the globe to see Australia’s remarkable natural wonders. But these icons are in the climate firing line as extreme weather events worsen and sea levels continue to rise,” ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes said in a statement on Thursday.

“Some of our country’s most popular natural destinations, including our beaches could become ‘no-go zones’ during peak holiday periods and seasons, with the potential for extreme temperatures to reach up to 50 degrees in Sydney and Melbourne.”

The report, released on Thursday, said Melbourne and Sydney could reach those extreme temperatures even if the government meets its global target set by the Paris Climate Agreement.

If more coral bleaching events occur on the Great Barrier Reef, the tourism areas nearby could see the number of visitors reduced from 2.8 million in 2015 to about 1.7 million per year, the report said.

The council warned climate change may be expanding the distribution of the deadly irukandji jellyfish along Queensland’s coast.

“As ocean waters warm, many tropical marine species have been observed moving into sub-tropical waters, with irukandji being observed as far south as Hervey Bay and Fraser Island as recently as January 2018,” the report said.

The group warns that without effective action by the government to address climate change, the entire northern half of Australia could be deemed “unfavourable” for tourists within the next 20 years.

The council criticised the government’s national tourism plan saying it made no mention of the need to reduce emissions or increase tourism sustainability.

“Without credible climate policy that cuts Australia’s rising carbon pollution levels, the impacts of climate change will only intensify and accelerate across the country over the coming decades,” Climate Council acting chief executive officer Dr Martin Rice said in a statement.

While Australia has never been famous for its ski resorts, the industry has already experienced a decline in domestic tourism, the report said.

Further declines in snowfall are projected for all resorts over the rest of this century meaning only the highest peaks such at Mount Perisher and Falls Creek would experience any snow, the council said.

“Despite the clear risks that climate change poses for Australian tourism operations in the short, medium and long-term, government policy documents continue to describe extremely optimistic forecasts,” the report said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The Asian brown cloud is pushing the thermal equator and monsoonal rains south, increasing rain over the top end and is currently having the largest impact on climate in Australia’s far north. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the cause of the bleaching either. That is particulate pollution, not greenhouse gas emissions. Some of that particulate pollution is from burning renewables – biomass.

    There is an overabundance of jellies in general due to overfishing – the Irukandji’s migration south may be a symptom of this and the displacement of the thermal equator.

    We need to have a truly pragmatic look at what is happening, where it is coming from and adopt appropriate mitigation strategies. Climate change is real but we have to be careful not to blame everything on it as it is not the only issue. Particulate pollution and other poisonous liquid and gas emissions, plastic pollution and land use changes seem to have been displaced from the public consciousness. They are just as real.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.