More than 100 people attended the Hamilton Island Reef Hour on Thursday night to hear guest speakers including finance and energy expert Tim Buckley and former GBRMPA director Dr Adam Smith discuss ongoing threats to the Great Barrier Reef.
Dr Adam Smith, Director of Reef Ecologic and former Director of GBRMPA said: “There are some good initiatives in the Reef 2050 Plan, but often Government policy is a plan for a plan. We need action if we are to lock in the future health of the Great Barrier Reef.”
Tim Buckley Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia said “By opening up the Galilee Basin, you increase the global supply of coal by 27 per cent and the price of coal will go down materially, decreasing profitability.The Queensland and Australian governments are kidding themselves if they think the Galilee is going to open up more thermal coal for the world and not have any adverse impact on existing mining operations.”
“Operations already at zero profit margin will be driven into the red. You will destroy existing mines that are already employing lots of Australian workers. Mine closures, job losses, risking the climate and risking the Reef, for uncommercial projects -from a financial analyst perspective the projects don’t make any economic sense,” Mr Buckley said.
Australian Marine Conservation Society Great Barrier Reef Campaigner Cherry Muddle said: “we should all be proud to live, work and play here. It is one of the most incredible places on earth. But it’s all at risk. Our jobs, lifestyles, fishing, diving and sailing grounds, and our precious natural wonder are all at risk from 100 million tones of dredging. We must all get involved and continue the push to protect our Reef. Community pressure is working. But we can’t stop now.”
Press Release, October 13, 2014