Target: Tony Burke, Australian Minister of Sustainability
Goal: Halt plans for coal port construction on the Great Barrier Reef
Behind closed doors and out of the public eye, the Australian Minister of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has approved plans to construct a large coal port on the Great Barrier Reef. The port, approved by Tony Burke, will be one of the largest on Earth.
According to the Ecologist, Hancock Coal received approval for the project after submitting a Public Environment Report (PER) based on biased scientific data it acquired from researchers bankrolled by the corporation. The site of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal is within World Heritage Site property owned by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). However, it is not technically part of the preserved national marine park. This loophole allowed the Minister of Sustainability to approve plans without the environmental oversight of other officials. He was allowed to approve the project solely on the environmental information provided by Hancock Coal’s hired scientists.
Environmental activists point out that the artificial boundaries designating the protected marine park mean nothing to the wildlife living within the barrier reef. Sea life travels freely throughout the region, without regard to Australia’s manmade park borders. Threatened green sea turtle populations at Wunjunga Beach just north of Abbot Point died suddenly in mass last year, ostensibly due to the coal port construction. However, mention of the turtles was omitted from Hancock’s environmental report.
We already know that coal mining and coal power is detrimental to our environment. It follows that locating an enormous coal port next to a barrier reef and a threatened turtle ecosystem should be out of the question. Ban Hancock’s coal port on the Great Barrier Reef.
Dear Mr. Burke,
Coal mining and the use of coal for power are both extremely polluting practices. Ergo, it seems obvious that Australia’s Minister of Sustainability should deny plans to locate an enormous coal port on the Great Barrier Reef. However, such a plan was proposed by Hancock Coal, using environmental information it garnered from its own hired scientists. Now, Hancock is constructing one of the largest coal ports in the world right next to the Great Barrier Reef National Marine Park.
I would like to point out that wildlife living within the marine park cares little for manmade boundaries. Sea life travels in and out of park borders at will, as I’m sure you know. Furthermore, the threatened green sea turtle population began dying in mass last year just north of the Abbot Point coal port. These are clear indications that the port is harming the aquatic environment. I urge you to halt plans for construction of Hancock’s coal port.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The Lightworks via Wikimedia