Greenpeace action highlights coal threat to Great Barrier Reef

March 8, 2012
Greenpeace activists painted 'Reef in danger' on the side of a coal ship moored in Gladstone harbour on March 7. Photo: Greenpea

Greenpeace activists on March 7 painted a huge message saying “Reef in danger” on the side of the Panamanian-registered coal ship Chou Shan, which was moored in Gladstone Harbour.

The action was timed to coincide with the arrival of a delegation from UNESCO investigating the impact of large-scale gas and coal developments on the Great Barrier Reef's world heritage values.

“If coalmining and export expansion plans proceed unchecked, by the end of the decade there will be six times as many coal ships passing through the Great Barrier Reef and millions of tonnes of seafloor dredged," Greenpeace said on March 7.

“UNESCO's visit should serve as a wake-up call to the Queensland and Australian governments. No longer can the reef be turned into an industrial playground for mining barons. The reef is Australia's legacy and we must protect it.

“By the end of this month the government will decide whether to approve the world's biggest coal port in the world heritage area. The Abbott Point port is just one of the massive development plans standing by for approval.

“The Queensland and Australian governments have agreed to a 'strategic assessment' to determine development impacts on the reef. They cannot approve these projects before this assessment is complete, otherwise the damage will be done …

“This is one of the defining battles of our time and we need you by our side.”

[To donate to Greenpeace’s campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef or sign the online petition, visit the Greenpeace website.]

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.