3 June, 2012 23:18

04.06.12

Letter to the Editor

Re: MPs slam UNESCO report. Townsville Bulletin 04.06.12.

We all know that Ewen Jones and George Christensen are very much pro coal mining export as is their right to be, however I feel on this occasion they may be overreacting to the situation at hand. To quote Mr. Christensen “ I actually find it offensive that the UN think they can tell us in North Queensland what development we can have and what we can’t, if it’s managed well, coastal development does not necessarily mean it’s intruding on the reef.” and I agree with him.

The key here is in the management which at this point is being handled well by the Gillard government, however as the intensity of this industry grows it will be increasingly important to put in place further safeguards to protect our Great Barrier Reef, one on the 7 natural wonders of the world. The reef directly employs some 60,000 Australians via the tourist industry, any accident with bulk freighters carrying coal could spell disaster for the industry and the Australian economy and as such all practical measures must be employed to minimize the chances of such a disaster.

As traffic grows in these bulk freighters, as the industry grows it may well become essential to have these freighters guided through the reef by pilot boats crewed by our own local captains who know the reef like the back of their hands. After all these foreign ships in a lot of cases are strangers to our waters and can make mistakes, which would of course be disastrous for the lively hoods of our local business operators. I’d suggest that the MPs concerned have a Bex and a good lay down, then help the situation by adding constructive suggestions as to how we can protect our Great Barrier Reef. We have a responsibility to the world to protect Australia’s natural wonder.

Regards,

Shaun Newman

13 Laura Court

Deeragun, Townsville

North Queensland, 4818

Ph: 0747516184

Email – sne35565

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