Rally for the Reef

When: 12 noon Friday 1st February
Where: Queensland Government Executive Building
(100 George St)

RSVP / Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/499157350134457/

credit - drwonga via FlickrIn 2012 the UN called on Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef from port developments and other threats, or risk having it officially listed as “in danger” of destruction.

This Friday, on the 1st February 2013, the Australian and Queensland Governments must report on what they have – and haven’t - done to safeguard the reef for future generations.

At noon this Friday come out to show your love of the Reef. We'll be letting the Australian and Queensland Governments know that we want a halt on the expansion of coal ports along the Reef coast.

Background info:

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is 34,800 square kilometers consisting of over 2500 individual reefs and 900 islands. It supports over 1500 species of fish, about 400 species of coral, 4000 species of mollusk, and some 240 species of birds, plus a great diversity of sponges, anemones, marine worms, crustaceans and other species. No other World Heritage property contains such biodiversity.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the worlds favorite playgrounds, a $5 billion asset for our economy and supports more than 60,000 jobs for Queensland

In 2012 the United Nation’s world heritage agency UNESCO expressed “extreme concern” over the industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef and requested the Australian & Queensland Governments to take a long list of actions to improve the management of the Reef World Heritage Area.

There is the possibility that UNESCO will declare the Great Barrier Reef “in danger” at the World Heritage Convention in June 2013 as a result of the government failing to address the threats facing the reef.

Currently there are a number of concerns about the state of the reef including:

  1. Marine animal sickness in Gladstone Harbour, which is being dredged for new coal seam gas ports.

  2. New or expanded coal export facilities at Hay Point, Abbott Point, Wiggins Island, Raglan Creek, Balaclava Island, Dudgeon Point and Cape York with associated threats to the reef including dredging and destruction of marine habitats.

  3. An anticipated increase of coal shipping movements through the reef from 1722 in 2011 up to 10,000 if all the proposed developments go ahead.

  4. Corresponding likelihood of spills or collisions. Since 1985 an average of two major shipping incidents (such as collisions or groundings) have occurred in the Great Barrier Reef each year.

  5. Increased climate change from a proposed six-fold increase in coal exports (156 million tones 2011 to 944 million tones 2020)

  6. Please come along at 12 noon on Friday 1st of February to show your support.

Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change.” George Monbiot

This event is supported by:
Greenpeace
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Australian Marine Conservation Society
Friends of the Earth
Beyond Zero Emissions

Photo credit: drwonga via Flickr