Australia: Greens Congratulate Bravery of Reef Activists

Greens Congratulate Bravery of Reef Activists

The Australian Greens congratulate the bravery of Greenpeace activists, who boarded a loaded coal ship in the Great Barrier Reef to raise awareness of the damage coal exports are doing to the Reef through climate change and shipping.

“The Great Barrier Reef is too precious to be treated as a coal and gas highway for mining magnates, who are in bed with governments to double coal exports from Queensland by the end of the decade,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.

A doubling of coal exports will see more than 6000 massive ships using the reef like a highway. There will be more than one coal or gas ship every hour and a half, posing a real risk of serious accidents damaging our World Heritage Reef.

“The effects on the Reef from massive dredging and offshore dumping to build new coal and gas export ports are compounded by increased sea temperatures and acidification from climate change, made worse by burning those exported fossil fuels.

“Queenslanders know the Reef is at risk from climate change, and they fear the loss if its natural beauty and the 54,000 jobs that a healthy reef supports.

“Queenslanders also know the pain of extreme weather events like floods which climate change will make even worse. We can avoid making climate change worse by investing in our world-leading solar and other renewable alternatives to create the clean energy jobs of the future.

“The Federal Government needs to stop the frenzy of port expansions in our precious Great Barrier Reef which benefit only the short-term profits of mining magnates and sell out the long-term interests of Queenslanders.

“The Greens will continue to push for strong action on climate change and I will progress my bill before the Senate to save the Reef by adopting the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations, including a moratorium on port developments,” Senator Waters said.

[mappress]

Press Release, April 25, 2013

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