Male Sea LionThe bridge of the M/Y Steve Irwin on Operation Reef Defence to #StopAdani (Photo Credit: Tara Lambourne / Sea Shepherd).

Sea Shepherd is part of the Stop Adani Alliance that represent almost 40 organisations and millions of Australians calling for an end to the Adani Carmichael coal mine, in defence of the Great Barrier Reef and liveable climate for our children. Sea Shepherd’s flagship the MY Steve Irwin is travelling up the east coast of Australia to Abbot Point, with a dozen stops to acknowledge and engage the great work of the Australian communities standing strong for the Reef.

The M/Y Steve Irwin vessel and crew arrived into Mackay, Queensland to a wonderful welcoming today, riding on a wave of community support from Melbourne, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa, 1770 and Yeppoon in defence of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Githabul man, and Steve Irwin Quartermaster, Jambi stated: “Together with my brothers and sisters onboard the Steve Irwin, I am proud to stand strong and in respect with the Yuibera people in opposition of the Adani coal mine, for our Mother Earth, for our people and for our Great Barrier Reef. We are powerful individually, and together, and with our ancestors standing with us, we are a might force. If there is one thing worth fighting for on this planet earth, its life.”

Maggie McKeown, of Mackay Conservation Group, said: “Here in Mackay we live right next to the Great Barrier Reef so we have a special responsibility to protect it. Mining and burning coal accelerates climate change and that’s the biggest threat the Reef faces. If mines like Adani’s go ahead, the climate will become hotter and our Reef will be gone forever. That’s why we have been campaigning against the Galilee Basin mega-mines for the past six years”

Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia stated: “As we sail further up the east coast, visiting the various commutes, the support and resolve to protect the Great Barrier Reef is only growing. Further into the heart of the reef tourism, we also see a deep concern for the livelihoods at stake if the Adani coal mine goes ahead, which is putting at risk some 64,000 Australian jobs that the reef supports. We also hear about the strain placed on battling farming families, as the proposed Adani coal mine has been granted unlimited access to groundwater by the Queensland government, in a move farmers fear will drain huge amounts of water from the Great Artesian Basin. Farming jobs represented by some 10,000 plus Australians."

Captain Mal Holland, states: “My crew and I onboard the M/Y Steve Irwin are riding on a wave of community support in defence of the reef and we are proud to stand with the Mackay community, standing strong for the reef and a liveable climate for our children. Sea Shepherd also applauds the fantastic work done by the Mackay Conservation Group in critical areas of conservation action, involving tree clearing, renewable energy, mine rehabilitation, water quality and of course the Adani coal mine, among other great work."

Campaign Coordinator Scott Wallace states: "The Mackay community relies on healthy oceans, reefs and islands off their beautiful coast and naturally their love of this area is on par with their resolve to defend it, and the Great Barrier Reef. Once again highlighting that the opposition to the Adani coal mine is only growing, with the Australian public choosing coral over coal, its time the Australian Government reflected the will of the people of Australian and revoke Adani’s approval.” 

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