In response to a story published in The Australian this morning, ACF Chief Executive Office, Kelly OShanassy, said:
“In late January ACF hosted the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on a trip in North Queensland. On this trip Mr Shorten met with independent scientific experts who explained the threat the Adani coal mine poses to groundwater, threatened species and our climate. He also witnessed coral death on the Great Barrier Reef, the result of climate change-fuelled mass bleaching events in 2016 and 2017.
“These types of trips are not uncommon. Charities periodically take our elected representatives to areas of environmental damage, human suffering and communities of need. These are not holidays. They ensure that when our elected representatives return to Canberra to make laws and policies that affect us all they understand firsthand the high stakes of their decisions.
“ACF is funded by generous donors, ordinary Australians giving what they can, who want our environment to have a strong voice in our country. Ensuring our elected representatives understand the breadth of environmental damage occurring in Australia is a component of our work. We have made similar invitations to Coalition and crossbench MPs and we hope they are also prepared to see firsthand the damage climate change is doing to our reef.
“ACF is confident we have complied with all relevant laws applicable to us. All ACF’s activities are in pursuit of an environmental protection outcome.
“We appreciate the time Mr Shorten took to understand the damage climate change is doing to the Great Barrier Reef and the threat the polluting Adani coal mine proposes. We hope Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will do the same. Because the climate pollution from burning the Adani coal and the suffering of our Great Barrier Reef are issues of great national and international consequence that require leadership from all our elected representatives.”