The Barriers To Saving The Reef

Folks, the Great Barrier Reef is in danger, but the good news is, it’s not going to be listed as in danger! 

And it’s all thanks to the plucky efforts of our Federal Environment Minister, Susan Ley, who racked up thousands of k’s flying time on Taxpayer Airways to lobby (bribe?) influential Unesco people around the world to stop the reef from being put on the ‘Danger List’.

Unfortunately, ‘Runaround Sue’ feels zero shame about the climate inaction that’s killing the reef.

It’s a pity Susan didn’t step foot on a plane to Queensland in order to talk to the many scientists who have been ringing the alarm bell for decades.

Mind you, the last time she flew to Queensland she attended an LNP meeting then flew home.  It was only revealed sometime later that she and her hubby had also bought an $800,000 unit on the Gold Coast during their visit.

Somehow, this had slipped her memory. 

Look, I understand.  I’ve often gone on holidays and found out much later I’d impulsively blown a lazy million clams on a luxury unit, then forgotten all about it.  I’m sure you do it all the time too.

Still, I did feel a bit sorry for Susan.  When the alleged rort was exposed she was booted from the front bench (eventually) and sent to the political boondocks.  Had she been a man, she’d have been sent a stern email advising her not to get caught again, then left to carry on as normal.

But like the proverbial bad penny, she popped back into circulation as the Environment Minister and quickly got to work.  Just after Australia’s worst bushfires destroyed over a quarter of Oz’s known koala forests, Susan rubber stamped the destruction of 50+ more hectares of critical koala habitat for a quarry.

So long Blinky Bill…

I’ve often wondered if LNP Environment Ministers realise they are supposed to protect our country’s environment. 

Seriously, is there a single natural wonder conservative politicians don’t want to see exploited to death?  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are secret plans to pebble crush Uluru then toss the rubble into Kakadu gorge so it can be turned into a giant car park.

Anyway, let’s get back to the Great Barrier Reef (before it’s too late).  I’m old enough to remember when the reef was a multi-coloured wonder and a marvellous place to go snorkelling, fishing and pottering about on tropical, coral fringed islands.

I can also remember the outrage in the 1980’s when ex-Premier Bjelke Petersen wanted to allow oil drilling on the reef.

And it wasn’t so long ago I watched in horror as large sections of the Far North Queensland reefs were bleached by overheated seawater, then smashed to pieces by a series of devastating cyclones.

I was a reporter for our local paper at the time (another extinct entity), and I won’t mention the politician’s name, but they saw this calamity as a wonderful economic opportunity for the southern reefs, and I quote:  “No tourist will want to see the dead reefs up north, so they’ll come to our region!”

Well, the dumb pollie had a point… I wouldn’t blow my holiday pay to see dead coral either.

I hung up and felt like crying.  These morons were in charge of deciding our reefs’ future, and to my ongoing dismay, they still are.

So, with that in mind, I would earnestly say to you, come and see The Once Great Barrier Reef before you, and it, die.

Nothing to see here, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

This article first appeared in the Regrow Queensland e-zine. Check it out!

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