Flotilla to support reef
AN INDIAN environmentalist engaged in a legal battle with the Queensland Government will speak at the Airlie Beach Flotilla for the Reef this Sunday, October 19.
Debi Goenka, executive trustee of the Indian Conservation Action Trust (CAT), is in Australia to challenge the approval of the Carmichael mine in the Queensland Land Court.
Mr Goenka’s challenge is based on the argument that approving the mine is not in the public interest and won’t achieve ecologically sustainable development.
Furthermore, Mr Goenka disputes the Federal Government’s claims that Australian coal will lift Indians out of energy poverty.
By contrast, he says the burning of coal from the Carmichael mine will have a devastating impact on the health and livelihoods of the Indian rural poor.
Joining Mr Goenka to speak at the event will be Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA) president Tony Brown, Great Barrier Reef campaigner for the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) Cherry Muddle, spokesperson for the community group Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping (WRAD) Kirsten Grace, and founder of the Order of Underwater Coral Heroes (OUCH) Tony Fontes.
The idea behind the event is that at 9.45am, residents, tourism operators, fishers, sailors and the local boating community, will launch their yachts, tinnies, kayaks, dinghies and stand up paddle boards, and create a heart formation across the water in Pioneer Bay.
Some commercial charter boats and larger vessels will sail past the formation at about 11am and a helicopter or seaplane fly-over is also planned.
People staying shore-side will be invited to participate in the flotilla by forming a heart shape at the Cannonvale Marine Club as a sign of support and solidarity for protection of the reef.
Live music will welcome the on-water participants ashore before the speakers take to the stage.
The flotilla will also feature information stalls and a barbeque.
In the event of strong winds, the on-water formation will be moved to Shingley Beach.
CONCERNED: Debi Goenka, Executive Trustee of the Indian Conservation Action Trust (CAT), will be the special guest speaker at the Airlie Beach Flotilla for the Reef on Sunday.