MEDIA RELEASE: Response to reports that half of GBR may be dead

North Queensland Conservation Council’s members and supporters gathered this morning outside a Reef Summit meeting being put on by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, dismayed at news reports this week that that half of the Great Barrier Reef may already be dead. (See: Terry Hughes tweet, Dr Russell Reichelt in Monday’s Senate Estimates)

Dozens of concerned locals met at Townsville Bulletin Square to create a moving visual representation of coral mortality.

“This is an unprecedented tragedy. It appears half of the Reef may be dead following back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017” said NQCC Coordinator Maree Dibella.

“Climate change isn’t a future possibility. The climate has already changed by 0.7 degrees and we’ve seen how this small increase has devastated the Reef. It’s absolutely crucial we take every effort to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees if we have any hope of the Reef remaining for the next generation.”

“We need smart and swift action right now. This means no new coal projects. That starts by stopping Adani’s mine. Today we’re calling upon the State Government to rule out cutting a royalties deal with Adani. We are also asking the Federal Government to not hand Adani $1 billion of Australian taxpayers’ money to prop up this otherwise failing project.”

“People at the rally want to see the Reef survive bleaching events and sea temperature rise. We need to protect the near 70,000 jobs that rely on a healthy Reef ecosystem. We want investment in our region for long-term, sustainable jobs, not coal jobs liable to a typical mining boom and bust cycle.”

More photos in this photo album.