Tourism operators not used for input

Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Seanna Cronin

WHITSUNDAY tourist operators were not consulted on the State Government's new snorkelling code of practice for Queensland.

Tourism Whitsundays chairman Al Grundy said there was nothing controversial in the new regulations, but said the Whitsundays was already a safe place to dive.

"I think the operators here are always applying safe codes of practice but we weren't involved leading up to the announcement,” Mr Grundy said.

"The evidence is the Whitsundays is a safe place, a majority of the diving here is based on water from the islands and not necessarily from jumping from a boat into the deep sea.”

The new code of practice came after 10 diving-related deaths on the northern coast in six months last year.

None of these deaths was in the Whitsundays.

New rules include allowing tourist operators to more easily identify "at-risk” divers, and requiring them to use flotation devices and wear coloured vests.

Topics:  great barrier reef queensland government snorkelling tourism whitsundays

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