We are sure that you, like us, were dismayed, but somehow not surprised, that the Federal Government put in a huge, tax-payer funded lobbying effort to stop UNESCO putting the Great Barrier Reef on the ‘in danger’ list. And although it is a short reprieve until the next assessment due mid-2022, (which will be after the next federal election) it does mean that the government still has to show it is taking action to save the Reef.
We are encouraging you, your family, your friends and your work colleagues to write to your federal Coalition MP or NSW senators to voice your concern. Below are some talking points and facts to help you. It doesn’t have to be long but it would be good to flood Coalition MPs mailboxes to show Australians are disappointed with the government’s lack of action on climate change.
- Introduce yourself: Your MP or Senator will be more receptive if they know you live in the electorate or state they represent.
- Talk about why you care that the Reef is at risk due to climate change: How do you feel about it? Outraged? Sad? Why do you want to see action to cut climate pollution?
- Ask them how they will take action to protect the Reef: You can explicitly ask what they will do to cut climate pollution and include an action you’d like them to take: Would they speak out in the media or parliament about the risk to the Reef from climate change and why Australia needs to cut climate pollution? Would they share a statement on social media? Speak up in the party room?
- Be polite: If we can demonstrate enough community pressure, there is a good chance we’ll see more MPs breaking party discipline to speak out on the need for climate action.
- Ask for a response: Ask them to reply to you with how they will prove to you as a constituent they are acting to shift their party on climate.
- Ask them to support Zali Steggall’s bill which calls for a halt to fossil fuel mining and a move to 100% renewables
Here’s some facts you can include:
- The government said it was blindsided. However, there have beeen five reports since 2012 by the UN and other bodies indicating the Reef was in dire straits. On top of this were the major bleaching events of 2016, 2017 and 2020 which left 50% of the Reef dead.
- Scientists have been calling for action to protect the Reef for over 20 years
- Warren Entsch, Queensland MP and Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, falsely claimed that warm water originating in the northern hemisphere and flowing across the Pacific to the Reef was a chief cause of mass coral bleaching. Scientists quickly dismissed his suggestion as “far-fetched” and “ill-informed”.
- UNESCO said that the government’s Reef 2050 Plan, (due in 2020, which still has not been finalised and most likely will not be completed for some time yet) did not sufficiently deal with the effects of climate change and needed to address this as well as water quality issues due to runoff from farming and land clearing.
- Australia’s carbon emissions continue to rise (and have done so since the Coalition removed the price on carbon) because of our reliance on fossil fuels in every aspect of our economy.
- Burning coal and gas is fuelling global warming and marine heatwaves, killing coral. Climate damage is the number one threat to the Reef.
Contact details of NSW Coalition senators:
Andrew Bragg: email@example.com
Perin Davey: firstname.lastname@example.org
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=e4t
Hollie Hughes: email@example.com
Jim Molan https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=FAB
Marise Payne: firstname.lastname@example.org