If the proposed expansion of the Abbot Point coal port terminals goes ahead, Australia will be responsible for exporting massive amounts of greenhouse gas producing coal, and put at risk our much-loved Great Barrier Reef, and the turtles, fish, dugongs, whales, dolphins, coral and other species that depend on it.
Such an outcome would not only risk a national ecological disaster, it could put at risk tens of thousands of jobs in the marine tourism industry in Queensland.
4.Huge risk to tourism jobs
The construction of the coal ports is said to require employment of some 1,500 people, and produce another 300 ongoing jobs.
Yet the tourism industry associated with the Great Barrier Reef employs some 65,000 people and generates close to $6 billion a year.
It seems absurd to put a small number of mining jobs ahead of a major industry like tourism, which is what irreparable damage to the reef as a result of coal mining could do.
Increased royalties from coal expansions for at most a few decades will not outweigh the irreparable loss of future long-term income to Queensland from a healthy sustainable tourism Great Barrier Reef industry.