Friday 1 Feb, 2013, Brisbane: Greenpeace will step up its campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef following the failure of the Australian Government to halt coal developments in its response to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee today.
Environment Minister Tony Burke fell short of community hopes today when he admitted on Radio National Breakfast that the Australian Government approved a coal terminal in a place where his own Department claims that: “The vast extent of the reef and island systems produces an unparalleled aerial vista.”
“The Australian Government has defied most of UNESCO recommendations, and there’s no commitment that he won’t approve more coal terminals or dredging that threatens dugongs, turtles, fish and other marine life,” said Greenpeace Climate Change campaigner Georgina Woods.
“Tony Burke has already approved a new coal terminal and allowed various new developments into the approval process. The Reef needs action, not promises. Until Tony Burke says "no" to all of the coal terminals proposed for the Great Barrier Reef coast, his assurances are meaningless.”
Demonstrations opposing new coal terminals in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are planned at ministerial offices around the country today.
“If the Government will not take action to protect the Reef, the Australian community must.”
“We have stopped plans to drill for oil on the Great Barrier Reef in the past. Now we must escalate the pressure and again say no. We must make it clear as a nation that some things are not for sale at any price,” said Woods.
For more information, contact:
Greenpeace Media Advisor, Elsa Evers: 0438 204 041