Media Release Fight For Our Reef

Great Barrier Reef can’t wait for Dutton’s nuclear fantasy

June 19, 2024

The Great Barrier Reef can’t wait another decade or more for action on climate change, the Australian Marine Conservation Society said after federal opposition leader Peter Dutton today announced proposed sites for nuclear reactors.

To protect nature, communities and our way of life, we must focus on rapidly slashing emissions this decade. Mr Dutton’s plan involves maintaining the use of coal and gas to supply electricity until nuclear power plants are built at some point in the future.

AMCS Great Barrier Reef campaign manager Lissa Schindler said: “The Coalition spent a decade in power doing little to battle climate change, and now want to delay progress even further. Nuclear is a distraction that will delay the urgent action on climate our communities and environment so desperately needs.

Many independent candidates were elected at the last election on the back of campaigning for more action on climate change. It’s clear people expect the Australian Government to protect us, our communities and our environment from the climate crisis. Mr Dutton’s plan is doubling down on delaying genuine and urgent action on climate change at our people’s and the planet’s peril.

“In a cost-of-living crisis when families are already struggling to pay power bills, why would Mr Dutton lock the country into more expensive nuclear energy when renewable energy is the cheapest energy source available, as well as the cleanest and best for our planet?

“Australians are suffering the impacts of climate change now, with more intense and frequent bushfires, droughts, floods and cyclones. It’s stressing our fragile ecosystems and pushing our threatened and endangered species to the brink. The Great Barrier Reef has suffered its fifth mass bleaching event in just eight years due to the increasingly regular marine heatwaves caused by climate change and the burning of fossil fuels.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. It can’t wait for more delays on action to battle climate change. We need to limit global warming to 1.5oC – a critical threshold for the future of coral reefs.”