Date: 10/11/2011 12:12:42 PM
Subject: re: Great Barrier Reef under threat
Just 3 days ago we sent out an emergency call to action. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area ecosystem is in crisis: millions of cubic metres of sea floor is being dredged up to make way for the expansion of coal seam gas export facilities.
GetUp members have responded to the call in force - so far 41,870 people have added their name to the petition calling for an immediate halt to all dredging in the Gladstone Harbour and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area1.
We're aiming to reach 75,000 signatures before we take this campaign global and have the petition delivered to UNESCO* in Paris!
Can you join the petition now, and let your friends and family know about this campaign by forwarding the message below?
Thanks for being part of this,
The GetUp team.
* The United Nations' Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which is responsible for protecting world heritage listed sites like the Great Barrier Reef.
PS - In breaking news, late yesterday the NSW Labor Opposition reversed their stance on coal seam gas and joined calls for a ban on all new coal seam gas operations - but we urgently need their federal counterparts to follow suit. Click here to add your name to this urgent petition before it's delivered to UNESCO.
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Millions of cubic metres of sea floor are being dredged up from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area1 to make way for massive new coal seam gas export facilities. No, we're not kidding.
It's the largest dredging project ever undertaken in Australia, and one that has the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) so alarmed they're warning the Reef could lose its iconic world heritage status. We've created an emergency petition to stop this. Sign here, tune in and spread the word now.
As The Age recently put it- what's of primary concern is the "vast dredging program" associated with the construction of three coal seam gas plants located inside the reef's World Heritage area. "The Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) has approvals to dredge 46 million cubic metres from within the harbour boundaries, inside the World Heritage area, over the next 20 years...a volume equivalent to 27 Melbourne Cricket Grounds." 2
Environment Minister Tony Burke has so far refused to stand up for the Reef, a priceless and fragile site of significance not just to Australia, but to the world. Imagine if the Pyramids were being bulldozed or the Grand Canyon mined -- the global community would be furious. Well UNESCO is furious. They're sending a special delegation in March to investigate what is happening - but that's too late to stop the damage happening now.
Meanwhile, UNESCO are being lobbied hard by the insatiable coal seam gas industry. And although they failed to even tell UNESCO about the project, the state and federal governments would have us simply trust them to monitor and regulate this crazy project -- claiming it's possible to dredge up 46 million cubic metres of reef inside a world heritage site provided there's sufficient environmental oversight. If the Australian Government won't stand up for the Great Barrier Reef as it's ripped up for corporate profit, we will.
That's why we've created an urgent petition, as we prepare to launch this campaign on the global stage.
The fragile and unique ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef is already under intense pressure due to earlier floods and a changing climate. We've witnessed a steep increase in the rates of death of endangered marine wildlife this year -- including dolphins, dugongs and turtles. The massive development for the coal seam gas industry may well prove too much for it to handle.
Coal seam gas mining is now affecting our communities and environment, from the family farm to the deep blue sea, and once these areas are destroyed, no amount of money will ever bring them back. Sign the petition now, and if you're on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to share this emergency call to action with your friends.
Thank you for using your voice now,
The GetUp team
1In our previous email we referred to dredgeing the 'reef' however what's being dredged is the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area which the reef is within.
2New battlefront opens up in gas debate, Tracey Ferrier, The Age, October 31 2011.
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you'd like to contribute to help fund GetUp's work, please donate now! If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to www.getup.org.au. To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here. Authorised by Simon Sheikh, Level 5, 116 Kippax St, Surry Hills NSW 2010