Grim future for Great Barrier Reef

Goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef

Grim future for Great Barrier Reef

Two reports on the state of the Great Barrier Reef were released on Tuesday by the Federal Government. They both reveal how threats to its environmental health have increased over the last five years and they predict further future deterioration.

One report is the five yearly outlook produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), while the other is an assessment prepared jointly by the Queensland and federal governments in response to pressure from the United Nations world heritage body who are concerned for the reef’s protection.

Both reports identify the principal threats to the reef as climate change, run-off from coastal development and agriculture, and certain fishing practices. These long-term causes have, in the last five years, been exacerbated by a series of natural disasters which could, in turn, be attributed to climate change. On this point, the report from the GBRMPA states, “it is already affecting the reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequence in the decades to come.’’

The Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, responded to these two reports by saying they confirm the need for long-term solutions to the reef’s problems and that the chief causes of these problems are poor water quality and crown of thorns starfish.

Read more at TheAge.com.au.

Opinion: Kiss good-bye to the Great Barrier Reef

So the health of one of the Earth’s most amazing World Heritage sites has declined and the prognosis isn’t any better. No thinking Australian should need these latest two reports to confirm this fact. It stands to reason that if governments continue to allow run-off from the Queensland coast into the waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, allow large ships, including tankers, to pass through the marine park and approve massive new port developments such as the dredging and coal loaders at Abbot Point, something’s gotta give. That 'something' is the long-term survival of this international treasure which sadly is now 'protected' by authorities hell bent on 'development' at any price.

To hear and see the current Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, blandly respond to the findings set out in these two reports saying that we need to do something when, only two weeks ago he signed off on the development of the $16 billion Galilee Basin Carmichael coal mine, defies belief. When developed, this six kilometre long scar on the landscape will be Australia’s largest coal mine and all that coal will be exported through the new Abbot Point terminal.

Meanwhile, the Environment Minister reassures us that he’s approved of this development subject to no fewer than 72 conditions. And who, precisely, will enforce all these conditions when confronted by Adani, India’s largest private power operator with a dubious environmental record?

In what appears to be a classic example of the perfect storm for the Great Barrier Reef, the Federal Government is handing back environmental responsibilities to the states, whilst the Queensland Deputy Premier, Jeff Seeney, is offering to discount his state royalties to encourage fast-tracking for the new development.

What do you think? Is this just another case of trash the environment for short-term profits, most of which will go overseas? Why are our so called leaders so fixated on old technology so blind to the elephant in the room – climate change?





    COMMENTS

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    Bigpella
    14th Aug 2014
    10:25am
    How short peoples memories can be. When I was working at the University of Queensland in the mid 1960s a Dr Robert Endean was saying the Great barrier Reef was doomed and would not survive supposedly because of the proliferation of the crown of thorns. Bumper stickers with Save the Barrier Reef were peddled all over the University by Endean's supporters.

    Fifty years later the reef has survived and will go on surviving because nature continues to evolve if one believes in the theory of evolution.
    Hasbeen
    14th Aug 2014
    1:23pm
    Yep Bigpella, just another application for more funding. More funding for this type of research, to agree with green activists is just so totally useless, the management of the marine park authority.

    When I was running tourist boats to the reef out from the Whitsundays, one of their "scientists" told me the operation would fail, as the crown of thorns were disseminating the reef area I ran to. Strangely my permanent staff out there, & the dive instructors we took out with their students 4 times a week had seen only one starfish in 12 months.

    Turned out that researcher suffered seasickness, & did all his experiments in a pond back in Townsville, just like most of the so called scientists there.

    Thank god I can see the truth, rather than the twaddle poor Learning-Life seems to see. Any one who cares top look can see the reefs are where they are, way off shore where major rivers discharge their silt, because they have been doing it for the last 10 thousand years.

    I wonder if Learning-Life thinks that was because of all the SUV driving cane farming aborigines back then?
    Anonymous
    17th Aug 2014
    1:26pm
    Bigpella, you are absolutely correct. I have a long memory and I well remember the Crown of Thorns would be the demise of the reef...didn't happen.
    maxchugg
    18th Aug 2014
    10:17am
    Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf."
    I also remember the alarmist theory that the crown of thorns was going to destroy the reef - it didn't.
    In more recent times I remember that in 2000 we were told that because of global warming (now climate change) the Maldives would be submerged in 10 years. They are still on the tourist agenda.
    The loss of Arctic ice was going to drown all the Polar Bears. They are still there and in such numbers that hunting them is still permitted.
    All of the alarmists continue to predict the disasters that will befall the planet in the current century, yet they can't even predict accurately one year ahead, as we saw with their promises of endless drought which were quickly followed by almost endless floods.
    mangomick
    18th Aug 2014
    2:52pm
    I also remember going to the dawn service 40 years ago with a great coat and beanie on. Now its a pair of light slacks and polo shirt, maybe a light jumper if it's really cold.
    The worlds warming there's no argument about that but whether it's caused by a natural cycle or man made ,well that's debateable.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    4:52pm
    Bifpella: Are you for real Bigpella? So were you a cleaner at the university?
    You needed to watch Four Corners last night which detailed the acceleration of the reef death cycle. You are incorrect that the reef will repair itself. It won't. Its number one enemy is silt and that is something it is getting heaps of. Thank Greg Hunt (one of Abbott's cronies) for approving the dumping of sediment 400 meteres from the edge of the reef when scientists have already proven that the silt moves hundreds of kilomoetres.
    The Great Barrier Reef will be dead within 50 years as will the business owned politicians who serve their political masters and behave like criminals, albeit white collar ones.
    You are wrong Bigpella. If you want to harp back 50 years ago keep in mind that the world popualtion was less than half of what it now is and the third world had industrialised like it now has done and Australia was not dredging along the Queensland coast for more and more prots for coal loaders. You have to compare apples with apples rather than kid yourself.

    maxchung: The crown of thorns is attacking the reef in place where it has been weakened. Watch the Four Corners report and see for yourself. Consider that UNESCO is considering putting the reef on the endangered list. And then come out with your theories. And as for your climate change refutals this is still in play. But clearly you watch none of the programs which present the evidence lest these go against your views of the world. I refer you to a quote from the scriptures: "seek and you shall find". That is where you have an issue and I encourage you get off your butt and do some research to establish facts. The facts are there but the deniers, many of whom are sponsored by coal oil and gas interests, and you need but to spend time to find them.
    Ballgameskeith
    14th Aug 2014
    11:04am
    There has been a lot of research in the last 50 years Bigpella. There has also been more agricultural run off, coral bleaching from rising water temperatures, coal ports etc.

    I'm sure evolution would love to take some part in the survival of the reef, given time. It appears to me though that the finger puppets of the big end of town(and other towns, Adani) are hell bent of profit at the cost of the environment. So time is running out.

    Here's wishing the reef all the best.
    Stoker
    14th Aug 2014
    1:16pm
    I will stick with the opinion of bigpella, over the all the years there have been these cries of fouling, but nature keeps rising and the reef keeps fighting and winning
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    4:56pm
    Stoker: 50 years ago we did not have a stack of cola loading ports nor did we have double the world population or industrialisation of the third world. Your statement is one made in ignorance and I encourage you to seek the facts....which indicate that the reef is going down for the count. But don't worry. When its gone we'll have coal loaders to make us all feel better and no money coming in from tourism. I hope you leave your grandchildren some money. They'll need it.
    Learning-Life
    14th Aug 2014
    12:09pm
    The main point that is being missed is that there is an archetype in society, and particularly in government and business of the Western World, is that they can only see minimizing commercial risk. Process risk cannot be seen by commercial risk managers.

    Commercial risk managers will build a plant by a swamp or a reef if it saves transporting something 50 km no matter what the consequence to the adjacent environment. Like the nuclear disaster in Japan, the cooling ponds could of been put 50 m above sea level but the extra cost prevented it and when disaster strikes, bonuses of the decision makers isn't impacted. Fike fracking and pipelines and transporting explosive materials, commercial risk managers can only see the lowest cost and the bonus on money saved or made in the past year. Time for society to wake up to the Elephant in the Room as to why we have war and loss control in community that is human made, not from nature.

    The wisdom that could come from everyone knowing their carbon footprint for example.working in cooperation to minimize waste and mitigate natural disaster from climate change would lead to human minimizing its exploitation of nature's wealth for a few.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    4:58pm
    Business has always taken precedence over nature. Nothing has changed. Unless of course people power forces change (like the Franklin dam). How little we care about the things which really matter.
    adbob
    14th Aug 2014
    12:14pm
    "Why are our so called leaders so fixated on old technology so blind to the elephant in the room – climate change?"

    17 years with global temperatures on a plateau - the IPCC says so - even Flannery admits it - yet still we get this nonsense.

    The elephant in the room is not climate change itself - that's going along just as the real climatologists said it would before the scammers jumped on the bandwagon - the elephant in the environmental debate chamber is the climate change scam itself.

    Get rid of that and we can look at some real environmental issues intelligently.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:01pm
    The best way to get around disbelief is denial. Time will continue to prove that climate change is real and is occuring. The trouble with your view adbob is that you expect nature to move fast when it always moves very slowly. Clearly you have no interest in the signs which are pointing to the obvious. You like the business owned Abbott government are only interested in plowing ahead as though there is no problem. But there is.
    Pass the Ductape
    14th Aug 2014
    12:20pm
    Frankly it won't make any difference to me what happens to the reef. I cannot afford to go and see it anyway - the prices for the average person to visit it are ridiculous and only those with more money than brains can afford to get out there. It may affect those in the tourism industry and hence the money made and passed on through taxes might have a small affect on things but again, I doubt the average person would see much benefit from it. Sad to lose it just the same but I think we're a little paranoid about the whole issue of saving the reef. Let's face it - if things do go wrong, there will never be an issue in the future when it comes to saving a similar icon. Maybe the proof of the pudding is actually in having to eat it.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:02pm
    Sad Ductape. How little we value those things which are never important until they are gone.
    Tom Tank
    14th Aug 2014
    1:08pm
    We have a State and Federal Government who equate "progress" with commercial development. Given the warnings that are being sounded about the impact of agricultural run-offs and effects of disposing of dredging spoil we should be concerned.
    This coal mine development by Adani has all the appearance of a disaster in the making for the arterial water supply as well as the Barrier Reef.
    The Minister for the Environment has his head up his rear end when looking at some of the decisions he has made.
    Do we need a Federal ICAC investigation??
    Learning-Life
    14th Aug 2014
    1:23pm
    Wow, comments really appreciated here. A couple of us are hoping to do a study as to what leads to systemic management failures to where loss control evolves like with the Montara well blowout, the immigration / boat people disaster and the Perth bringing the river to the city, and such things are duplicated globally. The point I'm hoping to bring out that is the habit, the archetype, the EITR that when commercial risk management becomes dominant in thinking, as is in the current Federal Government, disorientation occurs with regards to what is actually occurring so there is only stress and no learning to get something on track. Note that the biggest hit from climate change is due to the warming of the oceans. They create climate change because currents build the storm and rainfall events. Solubility of CO2 in seawater is less so increasing CO2 in the environment, but that doesn't justify humanity waisting its resources and behaving in a long term unsustainable way. Best to address the scams of financial, insurance and communication scams rather then climate change discussions because we need to address it. So well explained by Peter Senge , The Necessary Revolution, and then there is John C Bogle with his book Enought.

    An Ductape, greate comments. People who don't care have no joy or wisdom in life. That's another hazard in the world, no care with the dare, just do it for themselves. Maybe if we gave all the poor in Australia a week on the reef and beaches with sun block and umbrellas, they would get empowered intrinsically to help others when the next drought or storm hits and there would be no looting.
    Hasbeen
    14th Aug 2014
    1:37pm
    Thank you Learning-Life for confirming this is just another beat up pushing for more research funding. It would be really great if we could just get all these academics into doing real work for a change.

    Is all this waffle about carbon footprint to help get that grant? You just said that global warming would reduce the CO2 in the ocean. That was silly, now you can't include that ocean acidification scam in your research results.

    You'll really have to do better if you want to climb on that global warming gravy train, before all it's wheels have fallen off.
    Learning-Life
    14th Aug 2014
    2:21pm
    Apologies Hasbeen for the insinuation of looking to raise funds and your reply on what I'm saying is much appreciated so I can figure out how to explain what I saw with 5 years working on a farm and 51 years working globally in the oil and gas industry. A google search of wayne needoba robert bea will give you some clarification of why I feel concerned for society's well being.

    So spot on, lets get academics into doing real work, like "condition monitoring" and doing trend analysis on impact of human behaviour on things like its community well being and sustainability. The continuous improvement cycle, Collect and Collate, Analyze and Plan, Do and then evaluate.

    With internet and Cloud Computing with transparency, everyone representing them selves and lost of civil servants there to answer inquiries rather then doing what politicians tell them. Everyone can now be self accountable, self responsible and self empowered so there can be learning instead of hypocrisy, hysteria and coimpetition. Carbon footprints are good because everyone has one. It is a good indicator of how we use utilities like energy and water. Another indicator is to let everyone have a compost heap and pay community bonuses for the most fertile and healthy. Telapia fish ponds and garden communities would be another way for kids to find out why there were born. Check out www.fastrakids.com
    grannysally
    14th Aug 2014
    1:47pm
    I regularly sail in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Coral Sea. Rest assured that compared to the places from which we import most of our fish, it is barely fished and most of it ilooks to be in pristine condition. The biggest problem is that on every sand cay, island and beach quantities of plastic are to be found. Presumably as this breaks down it must have horrendous consequences for the food chain. As there is no romance, no carbon credit trading or research grants for Canberra academics in the physical collection and tracking of such waste, or in reducing the use of plastics in society, nothing is done. This is not a problem that can be solved by sending more emails between bureaucracies and attending fancy international conferences. The GBRMPA certainly is not interested in spending its $50 million per year on such a mundane matter.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:05pm
    Next time stick your head under the water line. And when you see the dead and dying coral remember that the bio diversity is there because of the reef and that once gone so will most of the fish and associated organisms.
    Supernan
    14th Aug 2014
    2:15pm
    Well of course it survived the Crown of Thorns invasion - because people acted on the warnings & did something ! Now the Crown of Thorns are back, the more severe storms are creating havoc & pollution is increasing. Yes nature will fix it if it gets the chance. But will it get that chance. Doesn't look like it. Are you willing to take the chance of losing it ? Will you then sit back & say to your Grandkids: "Sorry, I didn't believe them, but I was wrong ".
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:09pm
    Good comment Supernan. I wish there were more like you who want to preserve the reef rather than treat it like an empty coke can.
    I understand that the crown of thorns moves in when the coral is under stress and finshes it off. A bit like bugs attack plants when they are under stress.
    I for one want to preserve the reef but the coal industry does not agree with me and politicians on the liberal side of politics (at all levels) are happy to do the bidding of their political masters. Goodbye reef!!
    Learning-Life
    14th Aug 2014
    2:33pm
    Why not simulate for understanding and do simulation for learning competence where everyone gets to look at things from their perspective, allowing it to be meaningful. Long term profit sustainability will be greater if behaviour is innovative, creative and caring.
    Barnacle Bill
    14th Aug 2014
    3:57pm
    The world is coming to an end! the sky is falling ! The reef will die in 2o years. I have been running a charter boat in reef waters for 25 years and fished it for over 40 years, and can tell you from first hand experience that the reef is in GOOD condition . All GBRMPAand the other nay sayerswant is more funding to cemment their shiney assed positions.Most of them have Never even been to the reef.Greenpus were saying that Poet Hinchinbrook was on the reef, and it is on the mainland.Most southerners don,t know the difference, and just accept the propaganda.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:12pm
    Funny Barnacle Bill but there was a tour boat operator who narrated the degradation of the reef last night on Four Corners. He had compained about the silt from dredging for years and it affected his business to such an extent that he had to leave the business. Perhaps you should stick you head under the water line and look at the reef rather than sail around looking at the beaches.
    Young
    14th Aug 2014
    4:54pm
    I was a secondary school teacher in Victoria in the 70's and taught my class in geography that the Barrier Reef as about to die because if the crown of thorns starfish.It is still there despite all the doom and gloom.I'm sure it will not be allowed to die.
    Young
    14th Aug 2014
    5:00pm
    I also taught about climate and weather.we did not dramatise and talk about weather EVENTS.if it was fine we called it a fine sunny day.
    Today experts say there is NO Weather unless there is going to be some type of event.Weather happens from day to day and climate is what has happened over the hundreds of years.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:16pm
    Watch the Four Corners report (last night). This goes way beyond the crown of thorns and you of all people should be informing yourself about the issues. The above program should fill in some of the gaps. Wishing for a happy ending will only produce the same outcomes which have seen most of the world's forests cut down, the oceans fished to the point of collapse and CO2 pumped into the atmosphere as though it was a bottomless pit. And then you should factor in exponential population growth and industrialisation of the third world at an unprecedented rate.
    So were you really a teacher????
    Young
    14th Aug 2014
    5:03pm
    It amazed me the other day when I was at a BBQ at Pottsville,Northern NSW.
    About 30 cars arrived and one person got out if each car.When I asked them what they were there for they said they were meeting about the environment and climate change.What a joke.
    PlanB
    15th Aug 2014
    7:43am
    Typical
    Anonymous
    18th Aug 2014
    7:02am
    If you "talk the talk" you must "walk the walk"...it is no wonder many people are so cynical about firstly "global warming" now called "climate change". What will it be next??
    Young
    14th Aug 2014
    5:36pm
    I just heard on Channel Nine Gold Coast News that. Major Rain Event is about to happen.
    I would say we are about to have some heavy rain showers over he weekend.
    particolor
    14th Aug 2014
    6:34pm
    Yep !! The have all gone as Pop Eyed Queer as Politicians !!
    particolor
    19th Aug 2014
    8:03am
    The 23 Degree Axis Tilt to the Right that will probably cause all that Rain !!..
    jimjon
    14th Aug 2014
    8:45pm
    Environment Minister? Bull-dust !
    Capn Dan
    14th Aug 2014
    10:02pm
    Interesting thread and comments. I am with Hasbeen, grannysally, Barnacle Bill and Val who in the main add valuable on-the-spot EXPERIENCE to the discussion. I will add my 30 years of GBR experience as Master of tourist ships, scuba diving and commercial diving on the reef. Guess what? The main problem with the Barrier Reef is the radical left wing watermelon 'Green/Red' groups dumping their 'The Reef is dying' BS' killing off reef tourism jobs and mining jobs because they want coal left in the ground and to get funding for their wacky theories and to pay the rent. Their agenda against Abbot Point, a deep water port that has an over thirty-year record of clean coal export, is that they are happy to wreck the regional economy as they live elsewhere and being authoritarians want to tell everyone else what to do. No wonder the Stalinists joined the Green Party, they love the idea a big government run by them turning vast tracks of land into weed farms and restricting access by fishers to the reef. Please watermelons, stay in your inner city Green mecca and leave those that live here alone. Ideology comes first with watermelons. Real people can check out how locals think and factual links at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/AbbotPointExpansionSupporters
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:22pm
    My first reaction is: troll. My second reaction is that manu older Australians are set in their ways with beliefs which ignore the facts set in the 1950s.
    All I can say is what I said above Dan: in the past 50 years the world population has more than doubled, CO2 pumped into the atmosphere (after 1950) went ballistic and the third world is industrialising at a huge and fast rate.
    Your rantings are more out of the good old days than fact. Watch the Four Corners program, and others, and be informed. Opinion is great but FACTS are what counts.
    Adrianus
    19th Aug 2014
    9:17pm
    mick every one who has a differing opinion to yours gets called names? Why is that?
    Capn Dan
    19th Aug 2014
    10:06pm
    Well mick, I guess you just like having a rather high opinion of yourself. I would suggest that you are the ranter. I do not remember you at the technical meetings discussing the issues of Abbot Point. That is where all the people who have researched the sea grass and ocean currents, construction methods, sea bed material and yes, dredging were around the table dealing with the fact of their research. You get your "FACTS' from a television screen in your lounge room. I guess the problem with you is that you believe second hand propaganda dished up by a sensationalist television progam. Did you see the pretty pictures of the coral and pretty fish? Many miles away from where the dredging is. Fact is I have spent many years on the GBR. But hey, thanks Frank, otherwise I would not bother even discussing this with someone like mick who displays fairly obvious anger and delusional problems. I have notice mick spreading his Jihad all over this page. You sorry creature mick. You are definitely lower case. The End.
    mangomick
    20th Aug 2014
    10:08am
    In the last 2 years I've watched the massive plumes of toxic silt wash out of Gladstone harbour and watched barge after barge of spoil being carted out to be dumped at sea 12 miles out from Gladstone, I've caught fish out at the reef with the same cloudy eye and cancers that fish in the harbour, ranging from Barra ,catfish ,shark,mullet and grassy sweetlip have contracted. I've seen profitable fish processing plants that employ scores of women have to close down and yes a lot of this is probably short term pain for what many would call long term gain but I doubt it.. I also work in a coal fired power station and see mountains of fly ash bunded up and wonder what the acids in this fly ash which eventually finds it way from the bunded area out into the ocean will do to the natural ph of the ocean and the coral reefs. Dredging itself may not be a huge consequence to the GBR but for many of the smaller reef areas around Gladstone and Abbott Point it certainly is. Coral is fairly tough ,I remember reading in grants guide to fishes that many years ago Ernie Grant, the Qld Government Deputy Director of fisheries poured engine oil on coral to see what the effect would be and reported that no ill effect was visible. But who can say what effect the acidification of the ocean from the combined burning of coal will have on the GBR in many years from now. We should be maintaining a strategic reserve of coal for future generations not selling it all this decade to the highest bidder.
    Learning-Life
    15th Aug 2014
    3:21am
    Very interesting how society is willing to accept living in a right and wrong and black and white paradigm of management. With Satellites, Global TV, Internet (like talking here), and Cloud Computing, interactive multimedia, digital filtering technology and community condition monitoring process, the hysteria that is created in community so a few can rule would be avoided.

    This is an appropriate area and topic to look at the facts. Guess who doesn't want facts intervening in their projects. Why not see who it is, and why there isn't the perseverance to do all with certainty that its the best of the best action relative to there being a sustainable environment, which is going to get hammered by climate change, so what do we do to mitigate negative consequences for all. Note the Tsunami impact on the Japanese Nuclear Plant. It was going to cost too much to think about such impossibilities and then who paid for the consequences of a linear thinking micromanaged decision.
    mangomick
    15th Aug 2014
    10:02am
    If you had witnessed first hand the great plumes of toxic mud that the dredging in Gladstone Harbour alone was emitting out into the GBRMP area alone and that's not even allowing for the tonnes of spoil that were actually transported by barge and dumped out at sea rather than being bunded onshore ,because it was a cheaper alternative to barge out ,then you would realise that Governments only pays lip service to conserving the Reef and the Environment in favour of pandering to overseas gas and coal companies. And to what end. All the gas goes overseas and Australian households are forced to pay more to compete with world prices . Australian Industries can't even access the gas. Our State and Federal governments are akin to dumb and dumber with no strategic reserve policy in place for any of our natural resources only happy to gamble with the life and health of our major natural resource,the GBR ,which will be the only thing left when we are no longer the worlds biggest sandpit and quarry. Bunnings employ more people than the entire coal industry and yet we allow our entire environment to be desecrated on the misguided belief that growth is great. BS
    Hasbeen
    16th Aug 2014
    3:55pm
    Yes you could witness the plums of mud from dredging in Gladstone, & if you had any sort of clew, realise it will have settled out long before any of it gets to the reef, 35 miles out from Gladstone.

    Then you could witness the huge plume of mud coming out of Repulse bay mangroves, every spring ebb tide, & realise this is much greater than anything from Gladstone, is natural, & happens every spring tide period.

    Then you have a look at the millions of tons that comes out of the Fitzroy in every little fresh.

    You would probably blame some cow cocky, I suppose, but any reasonably intelligent person would look at the hundreds of square miles of mud banks that fill Keppel bay, & know it's been happening for centuries.

    I really want to know what those damn aborigines were doing to cause that.
    mangomick
    16th Aug 2014
    5:17pm
    Mate i fish out there regularly and I have seen first hand fish with similar problems to those that were being caught around Gladstone with cloudy eye and fish with massive lesions on their cheek and along their back so save me the spring tide BS.
    I've seen those spring tides and floods come and go for the past 28 years and it is only when they are dredging and bringing up that acid sulphate soil in the dredge soil that cancers on crab shells and problems with fish populations come out of the wood work.
    Learning-Life
    17th Aug 2014
    3:46am
    Great points guys. Now for the government to engage the community and local educational institutions and collect and collate all the forensic evidence of what is actual and then simulate for understanding and for the future do simulations for learning competence from all perspectives. Creation of Learning Organizations is needed as defined by Peter Senge in his book The Necessary Revolution.
    particolor
    17th Aug 2014
    7:23am
    Send some Warty Crabs and Hunch Back Fish to Canberra for their lunch !!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:27pm
    Hasbeen: Why is it that sceptics cherry pick the facts and disguard those which have no apparent answer?
    The issue is hundreds of millions of cubic metres dumped with currents grabbing the silt as it settles and carrying it hundreds of kilometres. Teh Four Corners program showed this very clearly from space. No argument. Your mangrove analogy appears to be a firfy although I would wonder why mangrove silt does not move. Maybe because it has settled. Don't know. Anybody know the answer?
    catstwo
    17th Aug 2014
    4:07pm
    I have dived & snorkeled on Great Barrier Reef over the years but a lot more around Whitsunday islands. 3 Yrs ago when I was last at Whitsunday islands we noticed a lot of dead coral & not as many fish. The coral may have been damaged from the cyclone around that time but why there weren't as many of the usual fish around the live coral, who knows.
    It seems, common sense would say chemical runoff, coal dust from Gladstone Port (I lived in coal mining district in Victoria for many years) huge ship containers etc etc certainly wouldn't help to keep the reef happy. We don't need to take unnecessary risks or get blaze about keeping the Reef pristine. Go & swim/dive there & see how you feel.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:28pm
    I hope that some of the deniers above (there are more than a few) read your post.
    musicveg
    17th Aug 2014
    6:02pm
    We cannot take any risks, we must protect this pristine area at all cost. There are many jobs in tourism already at risk. We are living in a greed society where everyone wants wealth, and they don't care what they cut down, dig up, dredge, pollute, poison etc to get there. Nature can't cope with human's footprint because they are stomping it. It doesn't have time to "fix" anything whilst man is reaping more than they need. Tread lightly.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:32pm
    I agree with you. The problem with mankind is that humanity has no regard for the natural world because it has always taken it for granted. When its all gone the same people will turn around to find somebody to blame (not themselves of course). In the meantime business and their elected desciples will continue to plunder.
    And when its all gone even they will feel sorrow. What ignorance we all live with. Human being are indeed sad that their nature is to plunder and the rewards for future generations is an unfulfilling existence as a result.
    Not Senile Yet!
    18th Aug 2014
    4:23pm
    The Elephant in the Room is not Climate Change!
    It is Our Own Governments...both State and Federal....that are the REAL ELEPHANTS in the Room....for they are charged with not allowing US and Developers from destroying our heritage!!!!!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:34pm
    GOVERNMENTS are controlled and/or owned by BIG BUSINESS. It is getting worse every year with multi nationals controlling entire nations.
    The elephant in the room is business and its greed for the almighty dollar whihc forces it to sacrifice all that is of value for that which is fleeting.
    maxchugg
    18th Aug 2014
    11:45pm
    In 2012 we were told that the Arctic ice was at a record low and that an ice free arctic would be around soon, a story that's still being repeated, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
    Yet in 1922 the arctic ice was around 2000 kilometers further north than it was at the so-called record low of 2012. In the period 1922 - 2012 it has gone through a cycle of increase/decrease.
    If we ensure that pollutants are not permitted to contaminate the water, the reef will continue to care for itself.
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:39pm
    The real worry is that the ice sheet over Greenland is thinning and breaking up. Because there is still ice there most people think she'll be right. Very Australian really. But we are headed in one direction and just like the (proverbial) unicorn the day of reckoning is coming.
    As for the Great Barrier Reef the political game is the same one we have always has: business before environment and nature last. The consequences of losing the reef are yet to play out and it would be good if bea counters would inform the public of the tremendous financial cost (lost tourism) as well as the flow on environmental coasts which are coming our way. Sadly this will only happen once it is gone and this is how this nation operates.
    Lula
    19th Aug 2014
    7:38am
    It's a disgrace! We are destroying a World Heritage! Never thought greed could prevail and humanity's treasures ignored.
    particolor
    19th Aug 2014
    8:17am
    Its Still there so far !! But we are looking into Exporting Coral !!.. It would be Discriminatory to Ignore Such an Abundance !!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    5:46pm
    What is really sad Lula is that the coal industry is not looking particularly healthy. Coal prices have been falling and as other countries move to more renewable energy they will continue to do so. Eventually many mines will close and a dead reef will be the next testament to the folly of Australians. We will have lost a perpetual tourism dollar for a flash in the pan dirty power industry. What a choice....and what a long term cost to an already financially stressed nation which needs every foreign income dollar it can get. As one who travels to the US EVERY YEAR and hears the stories from Americans who come to Australia too see 2 things (Sydney and the reef) I fully understand what a dead reef is going to cost the nation. When its gone so too will the rest of the nation. It will cost us all. And if you think that the budget was tough (it was) then wait to see what is coming folks when we import everything, when nobody wants our coal and when we are reliant on imports with next to no exports to pay the bills. Its called BANKRUPTCY!!
    MICK
    19th Aug 2014
    4:38pm
    What we are seeing here is the coal industry getting its way. Given that the Carbon Tax was recently repealed this should come as no great surprise and the Abbott and Newmann governments are no more than the political arm of big business. The future of the Reef matters nothing to these governments which talk the rhetoric of business whilst they happily see the death of one of the wonders of the world.
    The irony of what is happening is that the tourism dollars which could continue indefinitely will stop when the Reef is dead. Given that coal prices have been decreasing for several years and that climate change will switch the world into renewables as a matter of necessity then we will lost the money generating capacity of the reef and then the short lived coal industry as well.
    So is soicety stupid or what? And more imortantly should voters throw out Liberal governments for what they have done and continue to do to the world we all live in and who act this way for no other reason than the almighty dollar which the rich crave?
    musicveg
    19th Aug 2014
    5:54pm
    Great comments Mick ,I am with you on this one. Greed for the dollar is over riding everything else. Money doesn't make us happy but watching nature in all its glory does. We need to fight this one big time, there are petitions online, our voices need to be heard now. Multinational companies are ruling the world whilst they destroy the environment, people's homes and livelihood, and take what is not rightfully theirs. The earth belongs to no-one humans should be only the custodians not the grim reapers.
    Learning-Life
    20th Aug 2014
    4:34am
    Great observations in this discussion and I hope I can clarify (expose the Elephant in the Room (EITR)) here the reasons for "So is society stupid or what"?

    I do this through a recent conclusion of an event in Canada where a 72 oil tanker rail system was left unattended (not commercial risk managers only see people as a cost and the system has no way of measuring human value so the zero is part of the mystic. So I quote a post that often in America on threads like Linked In get blocked because those managing the threads are focused on commercial risk.

    I quote: nteresting that report concludes "Transport Canada must take a more hands-on role when it comes to railway safety management systems, making sure that they not only exist, but that they are working and are effective, the report says."

    The opportunity here is to reveal the archetype in a culture that focuses on commercial risk in managing projects. There was only one engineer operating that one massive array of carriages. No one was left to surveill the train, even after a fire had occurred. Maybe its time to assess the value gained by eliminating a caboose on trains and always having two people with the train where engines are connected. The history is well defined as to why a Caboose was eliminated.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caboose#History

    So we have commercial risk optimizing effectiveness and no value for the human relational affectiveness http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpersonal_communication

    No one was with the train to back up the complex systems, just like on the Macondo blowout, complex systems, the bladder effect is missed when evaluating the reasons for systemic management failures.
    Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Transportation+Safety+Board+person+blame+M%c3%a9gantic+disaster/10130614/story.html#ixzz3ArSlyTzx
    Min
    20th Aug 2014
    6:57am
    Great comments Mick...where would Queensland Tourism be without the one and only Great Barrier Reef?

    Sure we have the Gold Coast but the world also has similar destinations in Hawaii, Bali, California etc for them to see.

    Current Governments need to look beyond the square that says " money now" to money always".

    Politicians are supposed to be more intelligent because they have a degree but in 10 years the Libs will be the only ones who can afford one. Now that is scary.
    Learning-Life
    20th Aug 2014
    2:54pm
    Just looking at Clive taking on the Chinese http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/12183/20140819/clive-takes-on-the-chinese Will this lead to a greater respect of environment, health and safety requirements. Is he striving to make political leadership more effective or affective? Interestingly it seems society is still to learn what the difference is or realize the huge value of collaborating more affectively.
    Learning-Life
    20th Aug 2014
    2:57pm
    Come to think of it, the Carbon Tax would have been the first affective based strategy of enabling best practices relative to the HSE issues to address in every community.


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