Both the Coalition and Labor admit that saving the Great Barrier Reef from devastating coral bleaching, requires urgent action. Today, it was Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, who revealed one of Labor’s big ticket pledges: almost $400 million to protect the environmental icon. Marine experts welcome the move, but warn it’s only a drop in the ocean and billions more is needed to reverse the damage.
Abigail Blaikie reports.
It’s hard to try to protect the reef when Federal Liberal politicians won’t open their doors.
AYCC Spokesperson: “Good morning we’re here for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.”
A symbolic Nemo left this report prepared by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition on the state of the Great Barrier Reef, at the door of Peter Dutton’s office.
Millie Anthony, Australia Youth Climate Coalition: “We’re here today to send a message to Mr Dutton one of the biggest climate blockers in Australia.”
Today the Oppostion Leader took a boat ride off Cairns to inspect the reef.
His promised funding would be spent on reef monitoring, improving water quality and land management.
Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “This reef needs our protection and it needs it now.”
Experts warn the Great Barrier Reef is crying out for help, but say no party is introducing the right policy.
In order to save the six billion dollar industry, the reef provides experts want the Government to phase out the dependence on coal and spend more money on renewable energy.
A report by the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Coral Reef studies estimates that 35 per cent of coral is now dead or dying in some parts of the reef.
Nick Heath, World Wildlife Fund: “The world won’t forgive us if Australia doesn’t step up and do its job to protect the reef, not just for us but for future generations here and overseas.”
At risk, 70 thousand tourism related jobs.
Abigail Blaikie, QUT News.