Ditch­ing sweets to save the reef

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

LO­CAL en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cate Tony Fontes is once again go­ing the ex­tra mile to help save the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Mr Fontes is fore­go­ing his favourite treat, choco­late, for two weeks, rais­ing funds to fight the Ab­bot Point coal ex­pan­sion.

“The reef is my liveli­hood and my pas­sion,” Mr Fontes said.

“I care more about the reef than I do about choco­late – a lot more.”

The For the Love of the Reef chal­lenge is an ini­tia­tive of the Aus­tralian Youth Cli­mate Coali­tion, ask­ing the public to do­nate to sup­port par­tic­i­pants’ ab­sti­nence.

Mr Fontes said he was ex­cited to be a part of the cam­paign as it was the youth who would de­cide the fate of the reef.

“As Pres­i­dent Obama said, ‘You’re the first gen­er­a­tion to feel the im­pacts of cli­mate change, and you’re the last gen­er­a­tion that can do some­thing about it’,” he said.

He’s less ex­cited about the lack of choc­cies though.

“I’ll prob­a­bly eat a lot of chips – re­place sugar with fat,” he said.

“Giv­ing up choco­late to help sup­port the AYCC’s work to make sure Australia’s big four banks don’t in­vest in th­ese coal ports is well worth the sac­ri­fice.”

The for­mer Greens can­di­date is hop­ing to raise $200 be­fore the chal­lenge ends on May 31, say­ing “with enough peo­ple on our side we can pro­tect the Great Bar­rier Reef”.

“The reef is un­der real stress and it’s crazy that in­stead of pro­tect­ing it we’re look­ing at ex­pand­ing coal ports only 50km north of here,” he said.

“Af­ter spend­ing so much time on the reef over the years, de­spite its beauty, you can re­ally see the im­pact we’re hav­ing on it.”

To do­nate, visit the web­site www.forth­eloveof.org. au/tony­fontes.

SAC­RI­FICE: Tony Fontes is giv­ing up choco­late for the reef.

Photo: Sharon Small­wood

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