Thursday, 17 March 2016
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, stated on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Q&A program that Australia is 'losing the battle' against global warming,
(ii) Professor Terry Hughes has told 'The Conversation' that Australia can either develop new coal mines or protect the Great Barrier Reef, but 'we can't possibly do both',
(iii) coral bleaching caused by global warming has already caused the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to raise its bleaching alert to Level 2, and the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has upgraded its Coral Reef Watch warning for the far northern Great Barrier Reef to Alert Level 2, the highest threat level, and
(iv) the mining and burning of coal is driving dangerous global warming which threatens the Great Barrier Reef; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to abandon its support for the Adani mega coal mine and Abbot Point coal port expansion, and support a rapid transition to 100 per cent clean energy as soon as possible, and at least 90 per cent clean energy by 2030.
The coalition government is doing more than any government prior, including those opposite, to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Our Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan is supported by scientists, conservationists, industry and the broader community. It is the roadmap for ensuring long-term resilience and protection of the reef. The challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef have been experienced by other reefs, including in the Caribbean and Hawaii due to El Nino. We have been watching the situation and, due to recent rain and cloud cover, the impact is not as great as it could have been. But the best protection for the reef is to make it as resilient as possible—and that is what the Reef 2050 plan is doing.