With just one year to go until the New7Wonders of Nature are announced, Tourism Australia is urging fans across the globe to vote for its very own natural treasures, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. Public voting lines officially close on 10 November 2011, giving fans exactly 365 days from today to cast their critical vote.

To support Tourism Australia in spreading this message, Friend of Australia and Co Founder of Earth Hour, Andy Ridley, has been welcomed onboard as the first  ambassador for Australia in the international New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

A dedicated environmentalist, Andy Ridley is the Executive Director of the global climate change campaign, Earth Hour. Amongst other interests, Andy is passionate about diving and is committed to protecting one of Australia’s last pristine marine wilderness areas – the Coral Sea along with its principle component, the Great Barrier Reef.

For this very reason, Andy was an instinctive choice for the role of ambassador for the Great Barrier Reef in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign. In this role, he will represent the reef internationally throughout the course of the campaign as well as help to drive awareness and votes across the globe.

“As a keen diver and environmentalist, the conservation and appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef is close to my heart. If crowned a New7Wonder of Nature the reef will reap substantial benefits – support for its protection and the survival of its stunning wildlife will increase rapidly internationally,” said Andy. “I am very proud to be associated with such a commendable cause and look forward to helping raise the awareness of one of the world’s greatest natural treasures.”

Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, is delighted to welcome Andy Ridley onboard as the Great Barrier Reef ambassador.

“We are extremely excited to be working with Andy in this capacity. As a valued Friend of Australia and a crusader for conservation, Andy is an exemplary ambassador for the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr McEvoy said.

“Both Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef have received fantastic support so far but need at least 100 million votes each to be in the running to be named as a New7Wonder of Nature. This is a challenging goal but with the support and international reach of our ambassador program, we are confident that we can achieve this.”

New7Wonders of Nature ranking statistics for Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef have been strong from the offset and reveal that both Australian sites are receiving lots of support from their fans around the globe. Both sites are regularly in the top 14 overall and top ten when it comes to fastest growing votes and international votes.

To show your support for Australia’s New7Wonders of Nature, vote now via the internet at www.n7w.com/gbr for the Great Barrier Reef and www.n7w.com/uluru for Uluru. Or for telephone voting, call +44 87 218 400 and when directed, dial 7711 to vote for the Great Barrier Reef and 7726 for Uluru.