Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rudd links reef survival to emissions scheme

ABC News Online, Posted 1 hour 24 minutes ago

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has linked the survival of the Great Barrier Reef to the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme.

During a reef cruise off Port Douglas, north of Cairns, marine scientists told Mr Rudd and his Climate Change Minister Penny Wong that coral bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures were increasing in frequency and intensity.

Mr Rudd says that is why an emissions trading scheme is necessary.

"It's going to be tough, difficult and hard, but let me tell you it's a better course of action than burying your head in the sand," he said.

Sheridan Morris from the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre says it was good to speak to the Prime Minister directly.

"We're [a] tourist based economy, it's a $6 billion industry, the reef is very important to us," she said.

The Federal Opposition says the proposed scheme will destroy jobs without benefiting the reef.

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