Follow live as the Greenpeace Esperanza tours Queensland to map risks to the Reef

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Feature Story - 2 December, 2013
The Esperanza, one of our three campaigning ships, is coming to Australia in December! She’ll travel up the Queensland coast during 6-16 December 2013.

During the 10-day voyage Greenpeace campaigners will chart the destruction that could result from Federal Government plans to allow coal port giants to dredge and dump at Abbot Point, near the idyllic Whitsunday Islands.

Where will the Esperanza go?

We’ll be travelling from Brisbane to Townsville, passing several key sites for coal port development:

  • In Brisbane, we’ll launch our 'Save the Reef' voyage and welcome locals on board to meet the crew during a free tour on Saturday 7 December and Sunday 8 December.
  • We will pass Gladstone, where local residents and businesses are opposed to shocking coal port developments in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • We'll pass by Hay Point, where long lines of coal tankers wait to load their polluting cargo.
  • At Abbot Point, north of the Whitsunday Islands, proposed dredging to make way for more coal ships and dumping of dredge spoil could have huge implications for the future of our Reef.
  • The voyage will conclude in Townsville, where we will again welcome locals on board to tour the ship and meet the crew on Sunday 15 December.

Espy Tour

Can I come on board?

Yes! We’re running free tours of the ship when she docks in Brisbane and Townsville from the 6-16 December.

What’s happening to the Great Barrier Reef right now?

On 10 December, new Environment Minister Greg Hunt approved a massive and destructive dredging project at Abbot Point, just 50km north of the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

This approval is huge in both its size and impact. It would see some 3 million cubic metres of seabed ripped up at Abbot Point to make way for even more coal ships. The dredge spoil will then be dumped nearby inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Abbot Point is on track to become the world’s largest coal export facilities, driving the global climate beyond the point of no return. Greg Hunt has ignored the voices of the fishing and tourism industries, he’s cast aside important new scientific research, and he’s gone against the wishes of 80% of Australians.

How you can help

Dredging cannot begin straight away, until March 2014. In the meantime, the campaign to save the reef from coal ports and climate change will just grow stronger! Tell Greg Hunt that this decision does not represent you.

Join our Save the Reef campaign here:

We’ll also be sharing some highlights from the tour on our social networks. Follow us to stay up to date on our:

We’d love to answer your questions about the Esperanza or our Save The Reef campaign. Just  leave a question in the comments section below, or tweet us @GreenpeaceAustP and #SaveTheReef and we’ll get back to you.