Labor: Don't Renege on Your Promise to Protect the Great Barrier Reef

  • by: AJ Amil
  • recipient: Premier of Queensland: Annastacia Palaszczuk
Trans-shipping - the transfer of bulk materials like petroleum, coal or other products from one ship to another, at sea, is not an exact science. The practice, although more safe now that it has ever been still puts our oceans at risk anywhere it takes place. One accident could cause spillage and contamination that could do serious damage to marine life.

For marine environments considered to of particular importance, the chance of a spill during a trans-shipment is a risk that many aren’t willing to take. That’s why during the 2015 election, the then out of power Labor party included a promise to ban trans-shipping within the Great Barrier Marine Park.

But now in power, it seems that Labor is trying to wiggle out of its promise to protect this jewel of the sea. Late last month, the Department of the Environment and Heritage Protection proposed regulation of transhipping within the Great Barrier Reef rather than a complete ban. Instead it would allow the practice from designated ports, including the Abbot Point coal terminal owned by the controversial coal mining giant Adani.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the natural wonders of the world, teeming with life from brilliant coral reefs to the timid dugongs and the endangered green sea turtle. It is already under serious threat, with reef die offs on the rise, climate change heating our oceans and the constant threat of contamination from everyday shipping. The fact that Labor would consider allowing transhipping is both alarming and wrongheaded.

We need to speak up now and tell Labor to keep their promise to protect this natural wonder. Sign the petition and tell Labor #NOTRANSHIPPING in the Great Barrier Reef.
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