The Australian Government should reduce coal exports and take urgent action on the Great Barrier Reef if we are to save it for future generations, the Australian Greens said today.
A shocking new report released by the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences shows the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover since the 1980s, and could lose half again in only ten years if it's business as usual.
"The latest report shows the extreme vulnerability of our Reef. We must act urgently to protect it from further degradation and exploitation because it is just too precious to lose," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.
"The report shows two of the biggest factors in coral loss are tropical storms and bleaching, both events which are made more frequent and intense by climate change, and yet the Australian and Queensland Governments are doggedly pursuing their coal-at-all-costs plan," Australian Greens environment spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters, said.
"The Australian Government should now heed the warnings from UNESCO that the Reef could lose World Heritage status and reconsider their plans for major coal and gas ports developments, more than 55 MCGs' worth of dredging, and shipping increases to more than one ship an hour, that would turn the fragile Reef into a coal and gas highway.
"The Greens have also been calling on the Australian Government to finally commit to extending the Reef Rescue program, which assists farmers to reduce the agricultural run-off into the Reef which is fostering the explosions of the destructive Crown of Thorns starfish."
Please see audio for the press conference by Senator Christine Milne.