It’s time to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Dear Prime Minister,

The Great Barrier Reef has been listed as a World Heritage Area for a reason. The world’s largest coral reef, it is a place that we, as Australians, can be proud of; particularly proud that we have recognised its value as a place of natural beauty and ecological importance, and taken action to protect it as such.

Until now. Your government has given approval to destroy our reef. This is not a moment of pride. This is a moment of utter disbelief and devastation.

The approval of the dumping of dredging material in the Great Barrier Reef marine park is like you heading down to your beloved Freshwater Beach and taking a dump in the sand. Between the flags. Every day. And inviting your mates to do the same. And no one is going to clean it up. Pretty soon, no one is going to want to go there. Nothing will live there. Not even you.

You wouldn’t take a dump at Freshie. Why would you dump in the reef?

I ask you today to consider the long-term implications of this decision. Yes, today, it might solve a problem and help some of your wealthy friends to get their coal out to China. But there are some things more important than money. Once the reef is damaged, or destroyed, that’s it. There’s no bringing it back.

Now, I know you’re not a big nature lover, what with trying to remove World Heritage listing from Tasmanian forests, and your refusal to require polluters to pay for putting crap in our air, but many Australians actually care about this stuff, and your job, as PM, is to listen to what we have to say.

I, for one, am not going to tell my children and grandchildren that I was around when this travesty happened, and I did nothing to prevent it.

This one’s serious, Mr Abbott, and you need to listen up.

What are you going to tell your grandchildren about the Great Barrier Reef?

You must take immediate action to protect the Great Barrier Reef and halt all industrial development activity in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and surrounds. Consider the future, Mr Abbott, and not just an economic future.

At the moment, the world is viewing us with disdain for your government’s lack of concern for the environment. Our failure to send a Minister to international climate talks, your decision to repeal the carbon tax and go backwards in addressing our emissions, and now this, reflect a shortsighted view of the environment from this government, which has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. It is becoming rather embarrassing to be an Australian.

In ten years’ time, when we’re relying on renewables rather than coal, your decision to allow dumping on the Great Barrier Reef, leading to the death of an Australian icon, to export a dirty, redundant fuel, is going to look pretty darned stupid.

What will your legacy be? Please, protect the reef.

Yours in hope of the application of some logic, combined with a conscience,

Lisa Edwards
Mother, Friend to the Earth, 1 Million Women Member, fellow Australian.



The image above is from 1 Million Women, who inspired me to write the letter, which I emailed to the PM. Please send him one, too. You can do it here.

Back in September I wrote another angry post about my concerns regarding a coalition government. It seems they were not unfounded. Read it here.

2 thoughts on “It’s time to protect the Great Barrier Reef

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