New gateway to Great Barrier Reef unveiled


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Traditional Owners welcome the dawn as it breaks over the Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef on the Cairns Esplanade. IMAGE: Brian Cassey.

THE vitality and beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is reflected in the Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, an iconic public artwork unveiled in Cairns today.

The artwork is a symbol for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a social movement to engage the world in the future of the World Heritage area.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Pip Close said Cairns Indigenous artist Brian Robinson created a six metre-high and 11 metre-wide helix depicting a wave of marine creatures and birds led by a life-size stingray to reflect the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Framing the view to the Reef from the Cairns Esplanade, the Citizens Gateway will inspire those who walk beneath it and see their reflection in its mirror-polish stainless steel to think about their connection to the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

“Stretching for 2300km along the Queensland coast, the Great Barrier Reef is central to the life and livelihoods of many Queenslanders, and as a barometer of the health of our planet its future should be important to people around the world.”

Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, said the magnificence of the Great Barrier Reef was captured in the outstanding piece of art, which would also capture the imagination of people around the world encouraging them to visit this incredible marine wonderland.

“The Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef will act as a window for Tropical North Queensland to showcase the world’s best-managed Reef and propel what we’re doing globally through people sharing images of this artwork and their reef experiences on social media,” Entsch said.

“I’m confident this will boost interest in our natural wonder, which in turn will help grow tourism jobs, cement our scientific reputation in water quality and reef health expertise, and secure a vibrant and economically strong future for Far North Queensland.”

Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated sculptor Brian Robinson on creating a ‘powerful representation’ of the beauty and ecological diversity of the reef.

“Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is a significant artwork that adds to the excitement and vibrancy of Cairns as a centre for regional arts and cultural tourism. It also celebrates Cairns’ reputation as a world-renowned launching point to the wonders of the Reef and an international destination.”

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