Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Statements by Members
Moncrieff Electorate: Sea World
I rise to speak about a travel website's ban on ticket sales for Sea World in my electorate, which is shameful. Sea World CEO, Bikash Randhawa, has said it is 'activism gone mad'. Sea World has a long history of working with marine animals, with over 40 years experience in animal care, research and rescue, and a strong track record of assisting animals in need. It has also been leading the way to educate and raise awareness of scientific knowledge for future generations, and it plays a huge part in the Gold Coast's conservation efforts in its world-class facility. Sea World's marine science department has rescued more than 600 marine animals in the last five years and donates millions and millions of dollars to conservation and research. Despite this, TripAdvisor has caved in to pressure from activist groups, resulting in the dumping of ticket sales for all marine parks that keep dolphins and whales in captivity.
I believe this policy is a reaction to the opinions of a few rather than to accurate, science based information. To paint Sea World with the same brush as a Third World country that mistreats animals is unfair and misinformed. It is an insult to all of the good work that Sea World does. It is irresponsible and it potentially jeopardises tourism, which is critical to the Gold Coast's local economy. This decision to ban ticket sales to Sea World Gold Coast could damage conservation efforts on the coast and could potentially affect a business that employs more than 1,000 locals. I encourage the CEO of TripAdvisor to come to the Gold Coast and see the tremendous conservation work that Sea World does with animals, and to reconsider their decision to ban ticket sales. (Time expired)