Author Archives: Marine Team Coordinator

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Letter to WA Uni regarding the climate consensus centre

The CAFNEC Marine Response Team decided to send a letter to The University of Western Australia regarding the proposed creation of the Tony Abbott-backed Lomborg ‘consensus centre’ . Here is the text of that letter.

cropped-MRTLOGOwith-textcrop10001.jpg27 April 2015

Chancellery – Dr Michael Chanley
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway

Dear Dr Chanley,

We at the CAFNEC Marine Response team are bitterly disappointed at the University of Western Australia’s’ decision to support the Australian Consensus Centre. We believe it is wrong for institutions to deliberately delay action on reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions. The idea of a respected academic institution such as UWA supporting these sorts of bodies is even more atrocious. Our concerns include the effect of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is threatened by many human activities, but human sourced Carbon Dioxide emissions and associated ocean acidification must be one of the most fundamental threats.

As you are probably aware approximately 50% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions are currently absorbed into the oceans. CO2 then reacts with water and carbonate to form acid. This reaction removes available carbonate from the water column. Carbonate is what calcium carbonate organisms, like corals, use to form their skeletons and shells. Acid also blocks the shell forming process further and at higher concentrations acid can dissolve existing shell. Calcium carbonate organisms include planktonic organisms which form the basis of food chains for most marine organisms.

An Australian Consensus Centre run by eminent climate scientists that represents the true “consensus” of scientific opinion and the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry would be applauded by our group. But one run by Bjorn Lomborg, a man who is well known for spreading misinformation, doubt and unscientific cherry picked data is just plain wrong.

For the sake of the future of the reef, please review your decision and open a centre that truly represents the massive scientific majority.

Yours sincerely


Josh Coates
CAFNEC Director
(On behalf of the CAFNEC Marine Response Team)

CAFNEC Marine Response Team: Conservation action for our Far North Queensland marine environment. We are volunteers, not-for-profit, and all about taking action and informing community. See or more information.


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Community Forum on Cairns Port Dredging Announced

The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) have today announced the upcoming community forum on Cairns port dredging.

When: 24th September 2014, 6:30 pm start

Where: Cairns Choral Society hall, 31-33 Greenslopes Street, North Cairns.

What: Presentations and panel discussion from tourism and local industry representatives, leading scientists and environmental experts.

Presentations, Q&A, light refreshments provided, free entry.

The forum is an opportunity for the people of Cairns and the Far North to learn more about the risk to the Great Barrier Reef and other potential environmental impacts; the risks for our tourism and fishing industries; the cost to taxpayers; and the potential alternatives.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Col McKenzie, Executive Officer of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators.
  • Jon Brodie, Chief Research Scientist, Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research at James Cook University.
  • Felicity Wishart, Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director with the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

SCREEN USE POSTER1000loThe event is supported by the CAFNEC Marine Response Team volunteers who are working hard to organise and raise funds to hold the event.

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) Marine Programs Coordinator Josh Coates said:

“This is a chance for the community to learn more about the proposal to dredge around 7 million tonnes of mud and acid sulphate soil to expand Cairns Port. This proposal is larger than the controversial Abbot Point dredging. At risk are our local dugongs, turtles, fish and seagrass, and the Great Barrier Reef. Tourism and fisheries industries rely on health marine environments and are also at risk.”

“In the lead up to the release of the Environmental Impact Statement there is a lack of awareness in the community of the scale, impacts, costs and rationale for the dredging proposal. “

“We hope to raise community awareness by providing solid information presented by respected scientists, environmental experts and tourism operators.”

“An aware and engaged community is the best way to ensure we get the best outcomes for Cairns, the Far North and the Great Barrier Reef. Spending taxpayers money on a project that could cost our environment, tourism and fishing industry more than it gains would not be an outcome anyone wants to see. “

“This event is free to attend and we encourage people to take the opportunity to learn more about what is proposed.”

Please share the: Facebook event

Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine [at] cafnec . org . au

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Category : Community

Petition: Save Our Reef – Protect Our Inlet

Ports North, is proposing to undertake a major dredging operation in Trinity Inlet, however there are serious environmental risks and major community concerns with the proposal.

Read More or Sign Here

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Category : Marine Team

Dredging spoils the Origin – the reef bunch

What Do You Know?