The announcement in last night’s Federal Budget, for $5.6 million over 3 years to upgrade exhibits, completes funding for a suite of upgrades to Reef HQ Aquarium, which are planned to commence in 2021.
The funding will enrich the experiences visitors can have at the Aquarium and National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef and their knowledge and understanding of the Reef through the revitalization of exhibits to include hands on experiences, scientific demonstrations and modernization of interactive technology. These improvements to exhibits, educational content and technology will refresh the visitor experience.
As part of the exhibit revitalization, Reef HQ will undergo a consultation process with Reef Traditional Owners and co-design a Connection of Sea Country exhibition, whole of aquarium theme and education programs that will lead to a better understanding, protection and promotion of Indigenous heritage values of the Great Barrier Reef.
Part of the funding also supports a communications and marketing strategy to promote the new and improved Reef HQ Aquarium, to help drive tourism to Townsville and the North Queensland region upon reopening.
We anticipate this investment will strengthen Townsville’s identity as an epicenter of marine science education and will ensure Reef HQ as the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef remains a world leader in marine science education and edutourism.
The latest announcement brings the total Australian Government investment since 2019 to $40.1 million.
The redevelopment of Reef HQ Aquarium is a keystone project within Townsville’s Waterfront Priority Development Area and supports the Townsville 2020 vision to create world-class experiences to drive economic growth through new investment and greater tourism spending.
Reef HQ Aquarium will continue to engage with the community, through our social media channels and education outreach program during the closure. To stay connected to Reef HQ and the Great Barrier Reef follow our social pages and check the website for regular updates.