Monday 3 February 2014

Dumping on the The Great Barrier Reef is a literal and metaphoric exactitude

Lady Musgrave Island on the Reef. Can you possibly imagine dumping three million cubes of industrial waste here?
I spoke with my friend Antony on the weekend and he was apoplectic with rage about the decision taken to
dump 3 million cubic metres of spoil (another exactitude) on the Barrier Reef.
During the conversation I, and I was already spitting chips, got angrier myself.
As I've said before in this space, even I, who claim to being a writer, cannot possibly hope to encompass the magnitude of this appalling act of desecration.
A Greenpeace spokesperson pointed out that it was like "dumping trash into the Grand Canyon", clearly the yanks wouldn't stand for this, and so why should we?
So where does the blame lie? (Please note 'lie' is accurate in both senses of the word, another exactitude)
Well the major source of evil is Minister for Destroying the Environment, Greg Hunt.
He gave the OK in devious political fashion.
The actual go-ahead was given by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, this is a Federal Government organisation and as such lies under the purview of Greg Hunt.
Now he didn't actually sign the papers for the dumping, but instead made it clear to the civil servants doing the "scientific" review, that this was to go ahead.
The price of refusal would be that funding would be withdrawn from the Authority and everyone would be out of a job.
What's more, this tactic, withdrawing funding, is the current favourite with the Abbott government.
It started with the scrapping of the Climate Commission.
Tim Flannery, the high profile head of this organisation, then formed a private group to do the same job.
He then asked those concerned about climate change to contribute if they believed there was a problem, and within a short space of time they had a million dollars in the coffers to keep fighting for the planet.
Then the Abbott government looked around and realised that the next major organisation that were standing in their way was the Environmental Defender's Office.
So guess what happened next? (see picture right)
So with these two groups out of the way, Abbott and his eco-vandals were now set to approve the decision to dump 3 million cubic metres of industrial spoil on the reef.
However the issue is not over, by a long shot, and I encourage you to do anything, no matter how minor to make your voice heard.
GetUp! are driving the opposition to this reef dumping desecration and you can sign a petition, or contribute to the fund to go to court and have this stopped.
The page describing this is pictured and the link to this page is:

Of course the other major organisation that the Abbott dictatorship see as standing in their way is the ABC, our national broadcaster, and some of you may have seen my exchange with Senator Ian Macdonald.
This Macdonald was one who lead the charge, accusing the ABC of only reporting stories negative to the Federal Government.
He spouted a lot of his biased rhetoric but I'll just put in this quote here:
"Thanks Lock - appreciate that one intelligent person (obviously you ) listens to what I say and that the more than a milion Queenslanders who voted for me are "idiots" . I am proud to be with them! and by the way my comments on the ABC say they lack "balance" and editoralise their own personal views. Rarely do they just report 'facts' these days, regretably. But i appreciate your feedback."

I'd like you to note the words "regretably" and "milion", both misspelled, they should be regrettably and million, I don't wish to be holier than though here Ian, but if you're going to attack the ABC for bad journalism, you should at least learn how to spell before you do it.
But for those like me who were enraged by this unwarranted attack on the ABC by the Abbott government, don't fret.
Tomorrow the ABC will report the news the way it did yesterday, and the way it did today.
Accurately, fairly and in an unbiased fashion.
Every time a Liberal government gets into power they launch an inquiry into bias at the ABC, there are three I can think of off the top of my head, and none of these three ever found any evidence of bias.
So the ABC will be here tomorrow, but only as long as we stay on our toes.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and in the current instance the price of freedom of our national broadcaster is that we maintain eternal vigilance over the Abbott Government.
I will close with some pictures of the Reef, nothing I can write can convey how much we have to lose if we allow this dumping to go forward.


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