Celebrating the imminent start to Reef Walk 213 on the 1 June 2013, people gathered on Mothers Day in Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point Cliffs to launch the 77 day adventure walk from Cairns to Gladstone in Queensland. The crowd was front seat to a banner drop from the cliff top. Key speakers were Australian Senator Waters and Bob Irwin the naturalist.
The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from climate change and from the expansion of Australia’s coal export market and growing coal seam gas (CSG) industry. New major coal ports planned from Balaclava Island and the Fitzroy Delta, to Abbot Point near Mackay will bring 10,000 ships a year through the Great Barrier Reef by the end of the decade, compared to less than 2,000 in 2011.
Summary points regarding Reef Walk 2013
- 77 day walk from Cairns to Gladstone, Queensland.
- Dates – 1 June to 15 August 2013,
- Promote the need to protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations,
- Raising awareness of Queensland coal and gas exports and impact to climate.
- 72 year old grandmother key walker.
- Community events, meetings with local officials and community leaders.
- Timed around 16 June UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and decisions to list the Great Barrier Reef in Danger,
- Daily blogs, video blogs, images made available.
A little bit about June. June Norman, a 72 year-old great-grandmother with a passion for walking has instigated Reef Walk 2013. She is determined to leave a positive environmental legacy for future generations. June’s intent is to raise awareness of the current development of the mega coal mines in Queensland and the accompanying coastal port expansions. June is concerned about the ramifications these developments have for our Great Barrier Reef.
Reef Walk 2013 will take a message to Minister Burke and Premier Newman. The message conveys the hopes and dreams of the Australian people asking that we take steps towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef.