VIDEO: Bob Irwin Calls on Queenslanders to Stand Up for Reef (Australia)
Queensland pride is on the line tonight with wildlife warrior and conservationist Bob Irwin appearing in an advertisement during State of Origin to encourage Queenslanders to stand up and fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef from industrialisation.
The advertisement featuring Irwin will be aired in Brisbane and explains the dangers the Reef and its marine life face from rapid port development, dredging and dumping along the coast. The advertisements have previously aired in regional Queensland.
“Our Reef is one of the greatest wonders of the world and I’m not about to let it be ruined in my lifetime,” Mr Irwin said.
“With the increased traffic of these huge gas and coal ships coming through the Reef, the threat is very real indeed.
“Why should they be allowed to go across the Great Barrier Reef and risk destroying it? They shouldn’t be.
“At the end of the day, the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t belong to the Queensland Government and it doesn’t belong to the Australian Government, it belongs to every single Australian and every person around the world,” he said.
Australian Marine Conservation Society, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director, Felicity Wishart said Irwin’s special message for Queenslanders came at a crucial time, with growing community concern in Brisbane and state wide about the State Government’s push to fast-track port developments along the Reef coast.
“The Queensland Government is giving special treatment to mining companies and port developments over the interests of the Reef and a $6 billion tourism industry that relies on the Reef,” Ms Wishart said.
“Currently there is a proposal to dredge 3 million of tonnes of seafloor less than 50kms from the Whitsunday Islands awaiting consideration by the Federal Environment Minister – which would already have been approved if the State Government was in charge.
“As I talk to people in Brisbane and along the Reef coast, they’re increasingly asking: what will happen when the mining is over if we haven’t protected our natural icon, the Great Barrier Reef?
“We are urging all Queenslanders to join the Fight for the Reef to ensure the Queensland and Australian Governments protect the Reef from rapid port expansions, dredging, dumping and too much shipping,” she said.
Press Release, July 17, 2013