AUSTRALIANS who criticise Japanese whaling or Asia’s treatment of orangutans need to look in their own backyard and stop rapacious state government policies in the Great Sandy Straits and Fraser Island, wildlife warrior Bob Irwin said at Tin Can Bay yesterday.
“I hate whaling. Most Australians do, but we’re the greatest hypocrites in the world,” he said, during a barefoot interview on the banks of Snapper Creek yesterday.
Deeply concerned at the impact of government-sanctioned marina plans at Norman Point and the imminent destruction of Fraser Island’s dingoes, the founder of Australia Zoo and father of Steve Irwin is preparing to tell the world of the environmental vandalism of the Queensland government.
Wading in the mangroves, he gestured around him. “This is the nursery for the Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific Ocean.
“This is where life begins, where it all gets started.
“We shouldn’t be interfering with it at all.
“This is where the fish grow to maturity and on top of that we have some very special animals – dugongs, turtles, dolphins.
“They absolutely rely on this area for their survival.
“We’re going to see some dramatic changes in all our wildlife here,” he said.
“I’m more than concerned, I’m alarmed at the proposals they’re putting forward at the moment for the Great Sandy Straits.”
The marina development, he said, would involve “a lot of dredging and suction work which will create a lot of pollution.
“And this in turn will do a lot of the damage to the sea grass, which is very important to the dugongs and the turtles.
“We have to remember that the future of dugongs in a huge international problem at the moment.
“The United Nations predicts they may be extinct worldwide within 40 years. That’s a terrible thing. It’s less than a generation.
“So we, as caring Australians, have to make sure we do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen. I feel very strongly that, because of this area’s importance to recreational fishermen, they should all come on board and they should be very concerned about this development.
“If they want to continue to have access to fish, they have to make themselves heard.
“People need to get out of their comfort zone,” he said.
He urged concerned people to log onto the website, marina.tincanbaydolphins.com.au to “click” their protest.