Po­lit­i­cal back­lash

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

THE only thing that is ex­treme about green groups work­ing to con­serve our en­vi­ron­ment is the po­lit­i­cal back­lash against their ex­is­tence.

Grass­roots com­mu­nity groups are con­cerned with detri­men­tal ef­fects on the en­vi­ron­ment, so they work to­wards cre­at­ing bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the prob­lems and pos­i­tive so­lu­tions for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Reef sci­en­tists and the gov­ern­ment’s own re­ports show that cli­mate change and in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion are the big­gest threats to our reef. Burn­ing fos­sil fu­els – that’s coal – is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to cli­mate change.

Cli­mate change is real and is hap­pen­ing now. Our planet just had its warmest June on record and so far 2015 is the hottest year on record.

To save our reef and our way of life we must tran­si­tion away from fos­sil fu­els to cleaner re­new­able en­er­gies.

Richard Benyon, a lead­ing con­ser­va­tive politi­cian in the UK, calls our fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s cli­mate change poli­cies “in­com­pre­hen­si­ble and il­log­i­cal”.

Pope Fran­cis con­tin­ues his cli­mate mo­bil­is­ing, and con­cerned com­mu­ni­ties right across Aus­tralia con­tinue to voice their dis­ap­proval of the coal in­dus­try ex­pan­sion.

Yet our Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­fuses to lis­ten and just doesn’t seem to care – about hu­man health, our en­vi­ron­ment, what com­mu­ni­ties think and want, the de­struc­tion of our reef, or what kind of a planet we leave for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Reef tourism is re­spon­si­ble for 60,000 jobs and gen­er­ates 6 bil­lion dol­lars ev­ery year for the Queens­land econ­omy.

By pro­tect­ing our reef we are pro­tect­ing the jobs that have sus­tained Queens­lan­ders for decades. Re­new­able energy projects are up to 300 per cent more job in­ten­sive than the coal sec­tor and pose no threat to hu­man health or our cli­mate.

This is why lo­cal green groups want to see in­vest­ment in a pos­i­tive fu­ture for our com­mu­nity: in job rich re­new­ables and a healthy and sus­tain­able tourism in­dus­try. San­dra Wil­liams Air­lie Beach

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