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Issue #1605      August 7, 2013

No to dredging the Reef

The appointment of new Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Mark Butler comes at a critical time for the planet. One of his very first decisions is whether or not to let port companies tear up the seabed inside the Great Barrier Reef to make way for more monster coal export ships.

He’s already told us that he takes the future of the Reef seriously: Minister Butler will personally make a decision within weeks whether to let the dredging ships in. It’s no surprise dredging at Abbot Point has been labelled “one of the most controversial environmental matters” in Australia right now. New research has found that mud stirred up during dredging lingers longer and travels further in the ocean than originally estimated. This would smother to death even more coral and marine life.

Mark Butler is under pressure from coal port developers to hand down a decision that opens the gates to destroying Australia’s biggest natural icon. That’s why we need to rise up together, fight back against the cashed-up coal industry and take a stand for our Great Barrier Reef and for the climate!

The global Greenpeace movement has been working for years to protect the Great Barrier Reef. We should be proud of all we’ve achieved in this time. Last week I hand delivered to Mark Butler the names of 88,000 Greenpeace supporters who want the Reef protected from damaging coal port developments and climate change. The pressure we’re generating on decision makers and coal companies is making investors nervous to fund these risky projects.

The truth is simple: if the rate of coal exports from Australia continues as planned, climate change will be pushed far beyond the point of no return.

Coal companies are using all kinds of dirty tricks to ram through approvals for destructive coal projects. These companies are hiring expensive lobbyists to push their money-driven agenda on our politicians, even though some of them are being investigated over false claims made in their environmental statements.

*Louise Matthiesson is Queensland Community Campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific   

Next article – Union slams ALP plan to cut 5000 public sector jobs

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