Case study: Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Island Resorts Rejuvenation Program (IRR)

Tourism Mackay Isaac Whitsundays North Queensland Far North Queensland

As part of the $25 million GBR Island Resorts Rejuvenation (IRR) Program, projects with a focus on growing, greening and cleaning island resorts were awarded funding through a contestable fund. As a result of this funding:

  • three island resorts now have the capacity to generate up to 100% of their energy needs from solar power
  • four resorts have been enabled to increased solar energy generation and storage
  • over 7,500 litres of diesel per week is estimated to have been saved
  • up to 90% of waste is being diverted from landfill; over 1,120 tonnes of building waste removed; with five islands cleaned of legacy waste
  • new eco-tourism experiences have been established
  • two decommissioned underwater observatories removed from the marine park
  • Cape Richards, Hinchinbrook Island returned to national park.

Key island resort environmental and sustainability outcomes as a result of the GBR IRR include:

  • Wilson Island (off Gladstone) – re-open as an exclusive eco-tourism destination with renewable energy and environmentally secure waste management
  • Orpheus Island (off Townsville) – installation of renewable energy infrastructure as well as energy efficiency and waste management equipment
  • Green Island (off Cairns) – installation of greener technologies for energy and waste management and removal of the decommissioned underwater observatory that was structurally unsafe
  • Bedarra Island (off Mission Beach) – improvements to resort infrastructure to increase solar, water capacity and waste treatment
  • Hamilton Island (Whitsundays) – new water, sewerage and waste facilities
  • Hayman Island (Whitsundays) – rejuvenate resort infrastructure to support growth and resilience and greener technologies to improve water, energy and waste management
  • Lady Elliot Island (off Bundaberg) – fast-track the resort’s goal of running on 100% solar energy and the installation of new eco-glamping tents. Solar and eco-tents completed
  • Heron Island (off Gladstone) – install solar infrastructure and waste management equipment.