THE Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says candidates in the Queensland election must rule out support for all new coal mines, including Adani’s mega mine, in order to protect the Great Barrier Reef as scientists fear a third consecutive mass coral bleaching is on the way.
AMCS Fight for Our Reef Campaign Director Imogen Zethoven said back-to-back mass coral bleachings on the Reef in 2016 and 2017 were a direct result of worsening and intensifying climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels and increased carbon pollution.
She said fears being aired by experts that a third mass bleaching could occur this summer was shocking news for Queenslanders who may not realise how dire the situation was.
“The speed and scale of what’s occurring can be difficult to fathom, but it is not enough for our politicians to say ‘we are worried’ or ‘this is a tragedy’. Coal kills coral – it’s a simple as that, and anyone who is supporting the coal industry rather than our Reef is failing Queenslanders – and all Australians.
“Members of Parliament have a responsibility to protect the people and places in their care. The future of our Reef and livelihoods of 64,000 Queensland workers are in their hands. With the threat of third consecutive bleaching event, all candidates should now commit to a veto of the $1 billion loan of public money to Mr Adani’s project – to help protect this natural wonder.”
Ms Zethoven said development of any new coal in Australia, including the planned Adani Carmichael mega-mine in the Galilee Basin, could not go ahead if Australia was serious about protecting the remainder of the Reef from further mass bleaching.
“The bottom line is we cannot have the world’s largest export coal mine and a healthy Great Barrier Reef. This election, all candidates need to heed voter concerns about the Reef and commit to working hardest to protect our Reef, not the coal industry.”
See NOAA’s latest Coral Reef Watch for more:
For interviews and more information contact:
Dinah Arndt, 0425 791 394, firstname.lastname@example.org
Imogen Zethoven, 0431 565 495, email@example.com