The Greens have slammed the Morrison Government for politicising science in an attempt to deny the dangerous decline of the Great Barrier Reef.
Documents obtained by the ABC under Freedom of Information laws reveal the Morrison Government coerced an independent science agency to rush the release of a major scientific report.
The Government then leaked the report to selected media outlets to assist a lobbying trip to stop the Great Barrier Reef being declared in danger by UNESCO.
Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said:
“Yesterday the Liberals teamed up with One Nation to block Senate scrutiny of their shameful campaign to deny the Great Barrier Reef from being declared in danger, and today we learn why.
“This Government will go to extraordinary lengths to deny climate change. Environment Minister Sussan Ley has proven to be content to gaslight us by interfering with scientific processes.
“How would you feel being a scientist who has had your life’s hard work bastardised by a Government intent on abusing it for political gain?
“This Government’s sorry crusade to protect its appalling reputation on climate change - and the interests of their fossil fuel donors - is the most shameful thing I’ve seen in my time in politics.
“This Government has spent years ignoring and attacking science, now they’re politicising it. This raises serious questions: what did Sussan Ley promise the UNESCO World Heritage voting nations in return for not listing the Reef as in danger? For what possible reason would the Government want to hide the truth, except to avoid embarrassment on climate inaction and to help their fossil fuel donors?
“The Greens will not stop fighting to expose the truth on this matter ahead of UNESCO’s review of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status in February 2022.”
Greens deputy leader and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters said:
“If the government had as much enthusiasm for actually protecting the Great Barrier Reef as it did for hiding its failure to protect it there wouldn’t be a need to declare the Reef ‘in danger’!
“Pressuring an independent scientific agency to join its appalling propaganda campaign is, sadly, just the kind of dodgy behaviour I’d expect from a government that will pull every dirty trick in the book to dodge accountability.
“It’s astonishing that a government that purports to be all about jobs, job, jobs would be so willing to kill off 60,000 of them by doing nothing to prevent the decline of the Reef.”