The Australian Greens are calling on the Government to press pause on plans to massively increase shipping for fossil fuel exports throughout the Great Barrier Reef, as a bulk carrier breaks down just off Cairns and is drifting towards Shark Reef.
“The bulk carrier ID Integrity is now adrift close to the Great Barrier Reef, and presents the grave danger of running aground and causing significant environmental damage to the area and local marine life,” Australian Greens environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
“This incident demonstrates how reckless and foolhardy the Australian Government has been in rushing ahead with plans to massively increase shipping traffic for fossil fuels exports out of Queensland, and turning the Reef into a coal and gas superhighway.
“The Australian community has never given the Government the mandate to gamble with this World Heritage icon, which employs more than 50,000 Australians and contributes more than 5 billion dollars to the economy every year through sustainable tourism.
“While we all wait and hope that this ship can be rescued before it creates a disastrous spill, the Australian Government should now take responsibility for the Great Barrier Reef and stop this headlong rush to boost fossil fuels exports at the expense of the climate and the environment.”