Ecolibrium - Open letter to Gillard

Friday 13 April 2012

Ecolibrium - Open letter to Gillard

Some famous names have come together to call for wider protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Here is their open letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Dear Prime Minister,

Our Coral Sea: an investment in Queensland’s future

We write as an independent group of Queenslanders who have come together to express our love of the ocean and our pride in Queensland’s exceptional marine environment.

We are aware of your government’s draft plan to establish a marine park in the Coral Sea east of the Great Barrier Reef.

In the words of your Environment Minister, Tony Burke, “There is no other part of Australia’s territory where so much comes together – pristine oceans, magnificent coral, a military history which has helped define us and now a clear proposal for permanent protection.”

However, the draft plan falls short of the level of protection needed to secure this national treasure.

Minister Burke has said that the environmental significance of the Coral Sea lies in its diverse array of coral reefs, sandy cays, deep sea plains and canyons. It contains more than 20 outstanding examples of isolated tropical reefs, sandy cays and islands.

Incredibly, the draft plan leaves most of the coral reefs unprotected.

We commend the strengths of the proposal: the park is almost one million square kilometres and the entire area would be protected from trawling and mining, including petroleum exploration and development.

But the very identity of the Coral Sea lies in its coral reefs. To exclude them is to exclude the blue heart of the Coral Sea.

The protection of our natural environment is the foundation of Queensland’s future. As our world grows ever more crowded, wild natural wonders like the Coral Sea will become ever more valuable.

For the benefit of all Australians, now and into the future, we urge you to create the world’s largest marine national park in the Coral Sea.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon Mike Ahern AO
Former Premier of Queensland

The Hon Peter Beattie
Former Premier of Queensland

Michael Caton

Prof Ian Frazer
Immunologist, former Australian of the Year

Dr Aila Keto AO
Conservationist, former Queenslander of the Year

The Hon Peter Lindsay
Former Federal Member for Herbert

Prof Ian Lowe AO

Pete Murray
Singer songwriter

Ben O’Donoghue
Celebrity chef

Steve Parish OAM
Wildlife photographer

The Hon Molly Robson
Former Queensland Environment and Heritage Minister

David Thomas OAM
Chairman, The Thomas Foundation

David Williamson AO

John Williamson AM
Singer songwriter

Graeme Wood AM
Founder of Wild Mob, former Queenslander of the Year

For more information on the campaign to protect the Coral Sea visit the Opens external link in new windowProtect Our Coral Sea website.

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