The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation was officially launched on Thursday 29th September 2005 by the Hon Fran Bailey MP, Federal Minister for Small Business and Tourism, and Dr Ken Chapman, Chief Executive Officer of Skyrail-ITM.
Entered on the Australian Government's Register of Environmental Organisations, the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation's primary objective is to raise and distribute funds to support tropical rainforest research and education projects.
The Foundation's vision is: 'The protection of tropical rainforests worldwide through sound management, understanding and appreciation through research and education'.
'The Foundation will raise money to fund rainforest research to better understand and manage tropical rainforest ecosystems, and also education and communication to improve understanding, appreciation, management and protection of the rainforest,' he said.
Distribution of the funds raised will be controlled by the Foundation's Public Fund Management Committee, which includes representatives from James Cook University (JCU), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Fran Bailey MP, said the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation was a testament to Skyrail's commitment to tropical rainforests.
'Skyrail has demonstrated how the tourism industry can promote an appreciation of Australia's magnificent biodiversity and natural assets; whilst maintaining the protection that is afforded to this World Heritage area,' Ms Bailey said.
'I'm delighted to be here ' recognising and commending the efforts of a truly dedicated nature tourism operator,' she said.
The Foundation was launched in association with the 10th anniversary of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which began operating on 31st August 1995. In celebration of the Foundation's official launch, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway made a $150,000 donation to the Foundation.
Dr Chapman said Skyrail would continue to support the Foundation: 'Skyrail Rainforest Cableway will have an ongoing and underpinning commitment to the Foundation; a percentage from the sale of merchandise in Skyrail's Retail Stores will be donated to the Foundation,' he said.
Individuals and corporations can support the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation by making a tax deductible donation, or by applying to become members. Membership is $30 per annum or $120 for five years; individual members receive a range of benefits including 50% discount on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, 20% discount at Skyrail's Retail Stores, an exclusive Membership Card and quarterly Foundation E-Newsletters.
'By becoming a member of the Skyrail Rainforest Foundation, you will not only receive a great range of benefits at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you will also be making a real contribution to the understanding and preservation of tropical rainforests worldwide,' he said.