Chief Executive Michael Roche’s made the claim today during his opening statement to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications’ inquiry into Commonwealth/state management of the Great Barrier Reef.
“…a claim that 7,000 coal ships a year will be ‘criss-crossing’ the reef by 2020 is wrong but this false claim is the centrepiece of a television advertising campaign on behalf of WWF and the Australian Marine Conservation Society,” Roche said.
“I was intrigued that the WWF/AMCS submission to this inquiry in fact talks of 4,200 coal ships by 2020, not the 7,000 on their website and in their TV ads.”
“‘In fact neither figure is correct. The most up-to-date shipping forecasts from the draft North East Shipping Management Plan are for a maximum annual movement of 2,500 coal ships and 500 LNG ships by 2020. That’s about eight ships a day carrying coal and gas exports through the Reef area.”
“The other half of forecast movements are ships carrying sugar, grains, cattle, other minerals, tourists and essential imports including petroleum.”
“I urge this committee and the Senate to be led by scientifically-backed evidence and best practice in determining the future of the Great Barrier Reef.”