When former US President, Bill Clinton, and Oscar winner, Matthew McConaughey, wanted to tour the Great Barrier Reef, they chose Quicksilver.
Operating out of Port Douglas and Cairns, Quicksilver Group includes the world’s best known Great Barrier Reef cruise experiences.
Founded in 1979 with one catamaran, Quicksilver Group now operates a fleet of 13 of the most advanced Australian-made cruising vessels and employs 550 people.
“We use diesel in all of our vessels and at our Green Island Resort,” Managing Director of the Quicksilver Group, Tony Baker, says. “Our diesel fuel usage is about 4.5 million litres per annum.”
Each year Quicksilver offers approximately 400 000 tourists the opportunity to dive, snorkel, observe fish feeding, or stay dry in a semi-sub or underwater observatory at the edge of the World Heritage listed area.
Quicksilver also owns and operates the Green Island Resort, 45 minutes from Cairns, which is entirely powered by diesel. The air-conditioning in hotel rooms, the refrigeration in the kitchens, the water desalination plant and the sewerage treatment plant are all run on diesel.
“We also use diesel to provide power to public amenities on Green Island for day trippers,” Tony says.
Unsurprisingly, fuel is Quicksilver’s second largest business input. But it takes a proactive and responsible approach to fuel use.
Our flagship 45 metre wave piercer, Quicksilver VIII, is powered by four MTU 2000 series diesel engines, following a complete refit in July 2008 at a cost of $3 million. The choice of these engines provides better engine performance, fuel efficiency and durability.
“Over the past number of years we have undertaken many initiatives which have allowed us to reduce our carbon emissions by about 20 per cent, reinforcing our commitment to the environment and sustainability,” Tony says.
After winning many state and national tourism and sustainability awards, in 2009 Quicksilver was inducted in to the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame, alongside other tourism icons such as the Australian War Memorial and Hayman Island.
“We would face significant issues if the fuel tax credits scheme was dismantled,” Tony says.
“Our industry already constantly fights to be price competitive with overseas destinations. Any cost increases would mean businesses in our industry would not survive, which would have flow on effects for employment and our regional economies that rely on tourism.”