“What is happening to the Great Barrier Reef is a tragedy for Australia. We must not look away and instead pursue real action on climate change to help give our reef a fighting chance.
“It’s time our elected representatives stepped up and tackled climate pollution.
“This is why we must stop Adani’s coal mine. It is why we must embrace more ambitious action to deploy clean energy. It is why we absolutely cannot build new polluting coal power plants.
“In January I travelled with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to see the Great Barrier Reef. We saw first-hand the forests of dead coral on the worst hit reefs. We heard directly from Professor Terry Hughes, the lead author of this morning’s paper, about the fate of the entire reef if we don’t stop climate pollution.
“Mr Shorten has seen with his own eyes what these new finding tells us about what climate change is doing to our reef. The Prime Minister should immediately visit these areas too and develop a greater understanding about the damage the 2016 and 2017 mass coral bleaching events caused.
“And Prime Minister Turnbull, Mr Shorten and all our elected representatives should answer the question: ‘What are they doing to save the reef?’
“If they do not take action and the Great Barrier Reef dies, those forests of dead coral will become a monument for all of history for those who had the power to act and failed.”