Australia - Don't Sacrifice the Great Barrier Reef for a Coal Port

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment, Australia

In what looks like the most destructive pandering to industry yet, Australia’s government has just granted permission to expand Abbot Point into one of the world’s largest coal ports.   

Before development even starts, preparation involves dredging three million cubic metres of sea bed and dumping the spoil near or in the Great Barrier Reef, handily located right next door.

It’s not just environmental activists protesting. The UN, the fishing and tourist industries, scientists, and others have all voiced their objections, and with good reason.

The future of the Great Barrier Reef was already looking grim – it’s facing critical threats from climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution. Parts are dying, and this looks like being the last nail in the coffin.

Sacrificing the nation’s greatest natural treasure for a dirty, dated industry is taking a “pro-business” stance way too far. Tell the Australian government to put a stop to this unbelievably ill thought out plan immediately.

We the undersigned ask that you stop industrialising the Great Barrier Reef and adjoining waters immediately, starting with cancelling the plans for a mammoth coal port at Abbott Point

The Coalition’s seemingly endless stream of anti-environment, pro-industry policies was already getting ridiculous but this is farcical.

The fossil fuel industry is not and never was going to be sustainable. Given what we now know about ocean acidification, climate change, and air pollution, the phasing out of fossil fuels is becoming ever more urgent, not to mention that they are, by their very nature, a finite resource anyway. The last thing in the world Australia should be doing right now is developing the industry. Sacrificing one of the most beautiful places on Earth for it is almost unbelievable.

Please, for once, take a responsible attitude here. Short-term financial gain for the coal industry is not worth sacrificing our reef for.

We demand that you call off the coal port implementation immediately.

Thank you for your attention.

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