Free open boat tour ahead of emergency fact-finding mission along Great Barrier Reef coast

Press release - 4 December, 2013
Brisbane, 5 December 2013 - People in Brisbane who love the Great Barrier Reef are invited to bring their families and friends for a tour of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza as it prepares for a fact-finding tour along the Reef coast.

The ship will be berthed on the south side of the Brisbane River near the Gateway Bridge (50 Paringa Rd, Murrarie) and open for free public tours between 10am and 5pm on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December.

Esperanza will then depart Brisbane on Monday and travel along the Queensland coast gathering evidence on the devastating impact of coal port developments on the Reef.

Greenpeace Queensland Campaigner Louise Matthiesson said the rapid expansion of coal developments along the Reef coast and the pressures from climate change are placing this natural wonder at extreme risk.

“The fact-finding tour comes at a critical time with important decisions being made about coal port developments, including a decision on expanding the Abbot Point coal terminal,” Ms Matthiesson said today.

“It’s hard to believe that Australian governments are set to allow the world’s largest coal export port to be built on the Reef coast.

“Coal port expansion can only happen at the detriment of the environment and the $6 billion tourism industry that relies on a healthy reef.

“Esperanza will travel up the Reef coast over the next week gathering evidence of the risks to the Reef from industrial activity and stories of local community members who will be impacted.

“Greenpeace wants to show Australian governments and the international community the incredible natural beauty of the Reef – and why it needs urgent strong protection.

“If we don’t act now, we risk destroying a global treasure and Queensland’s premier tourism asset,” she said.

Spaces are limited, free tickets can be booked now:

For more information contact Jane Garcia on 0434 489 533

Esperanza will arrive in Brisbane late today, with press conference tomorrow morning and vision opportunity tomorrow and on weekend.

Interview with Greenpeace Queensland Campaigner Louise Matthiesson available.