Letters to the editor: When the stakes are this high, it must be reef first

JUST after the Australian Government presented a report to the World Heritage Committee saying they were improving protection of the Great Barrier Reef we see a funding proposal for the Adani Mine which will accelerate the destruction of the reef. Government representatives are too enamored of potential industry profits to think much about the permanent destruction caused by this mine.

Burning coal from the mine and resultant climate pollution is inconsistent with national obligations. It is at odds with Australia's commitment to limit global warming to 2 degrees. The world's governments signed the Paris Agreement which is incompatible with opening the largest coal mine in Australia's history.

Already suffering from mass bleaching due to global warming, the Adani project involves removing millions of cubic metres of sea floor, dredged and dumped, ripped up as if it was just rubbish to be moved out of the way. Once the feeding ground for marine life has been destroyed, the seabeds ripped up and channels carved, up to 7000 ships will move through the waters of the reef each year. Any spillage of oil or coal would be devastating. This mine will destroy more jobs than it creates.

The Turnbull Government is considering granting the Adani group a $2 billion subsidised loan as well as a $1 billion subsidy to build a railway line from the Abbott Point Coal Terminal to the mine site. It's unfathomable.

It has been estimated that coal fired power generation costs Australians $2.6 billion per year in adverse health impacts. Our youth deserve a safe and clean environment, to be able to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and other delights that nature has to offer. People come from all over the world to visit these natural wonders. It is shameful and sacrilegious to destroy such places.

Peter Van Haeff, Bellbrook

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