Operation Reef Defence: the M/Y Steve Irwin Arrives At Abbot Point

Wednesday, 08 Aug, 2018

At sunrise on August 8, 2018, the M/Y Steve Irwin vessel arrived at Abbot Point on Operation Reef Defence: our campaign in opposition of the Adani coal mine.

Ngaro elder Ken Dodds stated, “First Nations people, Burri, Juru, Ngaro and Giao, stand united with Sea Shepherd and crew against the destruction of the sea land and rivers and the reef. It is our role and responsibility as custodians and guardians of our sacred lands and waters to protect it for our future generations."

Githabul man, and M/Y Steve Irwin Quartermaster, Jarmbi stated: “Together with my brothers and sisters onboard the Steve Irwin, I am proud to stand strong and in respect with the Ngaro, Burri, Juru and Giao people in opposition of the Adani coal mine, for our Mother Earth, for our people and for our Great Barrier Reef.

"We hope to open the hearts of Adani and their workers, let them feel, love and appreciation for all creation, that they may reconnect with nature, that they may see what they are doing to our planet, to nature and ultimately to their own children. We are all in this together and we can not continue to treat our Mother Earth this way."

A smoking ceremony onboard the M/Y Steve Irwin.

Captain Malcolm Holland said: “I am proud of my crew, for its execution of the mission up to now, however, we're far from finished here. Our initial voyage for the at-sea component of Operation Reef Defence has seen measurable success, and it’s felt that we're just getting underway now in our campaign to protect the Reef, and our hopes for a continually liveable environment for our children."

First Mate, Haans Siver stated: “Its been an honour to sail with this crew in defending a piece of my own backyard, our Great Barrier Reef, to serve and work to protect an Australian Icon that needs our help. Allowing this coal mine to go ahead, would simply be un-Australian. If we can’t save the Great Barrier Reef, what can we save?"

“Canberra’s backing of this Adani coal mine is completely disrespectful of any agreements made by the Australian Government with the Paris climate conference," said Campaign Coordinator, Scott Wallace. "You do not transition out of fossil fuels to renewables, by backing one of the world's biggest coal mines. With all the wind, space and sun Australia has, its a no-brainer, this Adani coal mine should not and must not proceed."

The M/Y Steve Irwin arrives to Abbot Point at dawn.

Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia stated: “Being here in Abbot point, it's clear that this is a remarkable place of beauty, and no place for this massive coal port. Everything that is wrong with the world right now is represented in Abbot point, built on sacred Aboriginal land, on top of nature that sustains us all and right next to our Great Barrier Reef.

"We know climate change is already having a catastrophic impact globally and some of the coal ships here are up to five times bigger than the Steve Irwin, that send another missile into our planets ability to support life, however our spirits are not dampened, as is our resolve to protect the Great Barrier Reef, for we can not and must not, allow the Adani coal mine to proceed," Jeff added. 

"I received a letter from the CEO of Abbot Point Operations and Adani representative Mr Dwayne Freeman, stating: 'Our priority will be, as it always is, the safety of our employees, contractors and their families.’. Sea Shepherd could agree more Mr. Freeman. That is why we are opposing the Adani coal mine as it puts at risk an Australian icon, our Great Barrier Reef. It puts at risk 64,000 Australian jobs that the reef supports and any chance in a liveable climate for our children, which will affect all life on this planet, including the Adani contractors, employees and their families. 

"If Dwayne Freeman and the Adani Group were true to their words they would scrap their plans for the Adani coal mine and further invest in renewables and Sea Shepherd would be the first to applaud them.”

The M/Y Steve Irwin at Abbot Point

WATCH AND SHARE our video of the Steve Irwin's arrival at Abbot Point: the proposed site of the Adani coalmine. 

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