Climate Change: Act now to protect wildlife and jobs in tourism

“If we wait for catastrophe to happen, as we are doing, it will be too late to act”.  Ian Dunlop on Climate Change,Sydney Morning Herald, 19th May 2017  

Echidna Walkabout’s Position Statement on Climate Change

Without icons like Koalas and the Great Barrier Reef remaining wild, free and attainable, Australia will lose its competitive edge as a desirable destination for international visitors.

This will lead to significant job losses in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Climate Change is a direct threat to our future therefore Echidna Walkabout has framed the following Position Statement.  We urge others in our industry to support this model.

  1. Support the future:  We will support organisations with clearly defined and extensive CO² emission reduction plans ahead of those that lack these initiatives
  2. Lead by example:  We call on the Australian tourism industry to oppose projects that increase CO² emissions and pollution that damage ecosystems and thus directly threaten the viability of tourism businesses.  Examples of projects that are clear and ominous threats to our industry are:

These proposals fail to stand up to scrutiny on environmental, commercial and economic grounds.

We recommend the following actions:

Governments must act NOW: Both Federal and State Governments will recognise that the Australian tourism and hospitality sectors rely heavily on our unique wildlife and landscape experiences.  To this end governments will:

  • immediately abandon the inflated support for fossil fuel industries. These industries receive benefits, funding and subsidies far in excess of their value to Australia’s economy.
  • recognise that political expediency and intransigence in Australia is dangerously stalling our ability to act quickly on initiatives to stop global warming
  • urgently and immediately implement all facets of  the 2015 United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change to halt global warming below 1.5c. Read why experts say that Australia is falling behind on climate action compared to other developed nations (New Daily)
  • promote (rather than hinder) renewable energy projects
  • allocate funds for actions and to organisations that repair and improve ecosystems. These include the national parks and wildlife departments of government, scientific research organisations and environmental organisations.
  • give support and funding to the tourism industry commensurate with its status as one of Australia’s largest employers. Current levels of government support for tourism are well below that given to other industries of similar size.


Tourism to unite: Above all the Australian Tourism Industry must unite to halt human-induced Climate Change and its effects on the industry.

  • tourism businesses should be encouraged to speak up and speak out against threats to their industry
  • tourism businesses should feel they can speak to media about their concerns without fear of reprisals
  • tourism industry should become aware of their influence and importance to the Australian economy
  • all members of the tourism industry should understand that a strong, economically viable tourism industry equals a strong voice for wildlife, natural landscapes and Australian cultures.
Australian tour company position statement on Climate Change

           Earth’s atmosphere – we are knowingly destroying the thin blue line separating life from oblivion


The Facts

Echidna Walkabout acknowledges that : climate change and associated pollution is a serious impending threat to the multi-billion dollar tourism industry in Australia. Rising temperatures, drier summers, increasing numbers and intensity of extreme weather events, rising ocean temperatures and salinity, decreased rainfall and reducing streamflows are already having an impact on wildlife and most forms of tourism.

Pollution of air, rivers, sea and land by waste caused by extraction and burning of fossil fuels impacts heavily on natural environments and wildlife which are the icons of tourism in Australia. Read how climate is affecting koalas.

One of the primary reasons international visitors choose Australia as a destination is the country’s unique wildlife and natural landscapes. Read the report on Koalas and tourism: An economic evaluation.  Visitors want to see wildlife in the wild rather than in a zoo.  Read this recent article in The Australian about what brings tourists to Australia.  Australian landscapes are far more exciting with wildlife present in the scene.

18 month old female wild koala


Human-induced Climate Change is changing our world


  1. Risky Business: Health, Climate and Economic Risks of the Carmichael Coalmine.     Climate Council May 2017
  2. ‘We can’t be passive bystanders’: Advisers call for dramatic re-think on Great Barrier Reef.    Sydney Morning Herald 21st May 2017
  3. Great Barrier Reef 2050 plan no longer achievable….., experts say.  The Guardian 25th May 2017
  4. One Degree for Koalas  Echidna Walkabout Blog Post  1st February 2017
  5. Three years left to save the planet….experts say.  The New Daily 29th June 2017
  6. “The heatwaves and lack of rainfall won’t just impact humans, but Australia’s entire ecosystem”  Eco News July 4th 2017
  7.  “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children” The Guardian 12 July 2017
  8. “Earth’s sixth mass extinction event underway, scientists warn” The Guardian 11 July 2017

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