Time to be hon­est

Whitsunday Times - - YOUR SAY -

IN THE not-too-dis­tant fu­ture, when your chil­dren ask you, “What did you do about the Great Bar­rier Reef bleach­ing events in 2016 and 2017, when we lost nearly 50% of the reef?”

How will you an­swer? Will you say…

“Well, not much ac­tu­ally. I stood by while the largest ther­mal coalmine in Aus­tralia was dug in the Galilee Basin. This coal, when burned, more than dou­bled Aus­tralia’s green­house gas emis­sions.

“I looked on as our gov­ern­ment granted free wa­ter li­cences to the Adani Carmichael mine for bil­lions of litres of wa­ter. Wa­ter that farm­ers needed and had to pay for.

“I watched our Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment give away nearly a bil­lion dol­lars to an In­dian

bil­lion­aire to build a rail­way to sup­port the Adani Carmichael mine.

“I didn’t lift a fin­ger in protest when the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment gave away mil­lions of dol­lars in roy­al­ties to the Adani Carmichael mine.” Or will your an­swer be… “I re­alised that our State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments were wed­ded to the fos­sil fuel in­dus­try and were do­ing lit­tle to noth­ing to com­bat cli­mate change. We were watch­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef die be­fore our eyes.

“I stood with the com­mu­nity. We drew a line in the sand and said, ‘Enough, no more.’

“I joined a na­tional cam­paign and we fought the ex­pan­sion of the coal in­dus­try. We did our best to stop the Adani Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin.

“We fought to pro­tect the 70,000 jobs pro­vided by the

Great Bar­rier Reef tourism in­dus­try.

“We pushed for a fair and fast tran­si­tion to re­new­able en­ergy, which would bring jobs to re­gional Queens­land.

“We sup­ported the politi­cians who sup­ported reef pro­tec­tion and fought against cli­mate change.

“We ral­lied, we marched, we protested and to­gether... we won.”

When the time comes, how will you an­swer your chil­dren? — Tony Fontes Air­lie Beach

We ral­lied, we marched, we protested and to­gether ... we won. — Tony Fontes

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