Overseas coverage of Queensland's floods damaging Australia's tourism: official

19:04, January 17, 2011      

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Australia Tourism authorities on Monday said international coverage of Queensland's floods is having a devastating affect on the industry.

According to Col McKenzie from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, some overseas newspaper reports said the entire Great Barrier Reef in Cairns of Queensland has been destroyed.

McKenzie, who has just returned from overseas, said the media coverage is unprecedented, as Cairns is affected by floods in only a very small scale compared to Brisbane.

"In both London (Britain) and Hong Kong (China), the papers are full and the news on the television is just full of the fact that Queensland has sunk and they are making a really big thing about the fact that an area the size of Germany and France is underwater, " he told ABC News on Monday.

"There is no indication in any of the news stories that Cairns (of Queensland) is alright."

Meanwhile, an expert said one good thing for the flooding in Queensland and New South Wales is to boost the health of the Murray-Darling river system.

Australian National University environmental economics expert Jeff Bennett said recent floods would boost the river system that has been drought for long time, and the lower Darling could expect to see "a lot of bird breeding events" in coming months.

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