UNESCO has released its latest report on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, and has once again raised concerns about excessive port development along the coast, and the state of water quality around the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef may be Australia’s responsibility, but the whole world loves it. People around the world know the Reef is one of the most beautiful and precious places on Earth and they know it is at risk.
When the Rainbow Warrior docked at Portside Wharf last week, the crew and I were thrilled to see dozens of locals and journalists ready and waiting for her to dock. Then the following day, we were blown away during our Rainbow Warrior Open Day.
In the fight to save the places we love there are always swings and roundabouts, but the last two weeks have felt more like a wipe-out than either a swing or a roundabout. Last week the media focus was on the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, doing deals with India so they could import our uranium – without signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Everything about the Galilee Basin is epic. Its name, its size and sparse beauty, the enormous amount of coal buried just under the soil and the scale of mining being proposed to dig it up. But eclipsing all of this are the epic consequences if this coal is dug up and burnt – and that remains true whether the coal is burnt in Australia or in India or China.
Last week Greenpeace launched a vital new campaign for Australia. We’re taking on the massive coal mining and coal export expansion plans particularly in Queensland. These mega coal mines, coal port infrastructure and increases in coal shipping traffic not only spell disaster for our climate but for Australia’s national treasure – the Great Barrier Reef.