Back when I was travelling on the World Qualifying Series, losing all my heats in the first round and getting shitfaced drunk with Davo every night, people used to ask me, “Hey creepy guy, what’s the best thing about Australia?”
I’d always respond with the same answer, “Only the largest living creature on Earth, mate… the Great Barrier Reef!”
You see, just like the dog shaped ashtray I made in Year Ten pottery, I’ve always been very proud of the Reef. I love that it plays home to millions of wonderfully exotic creatures and organisms found nowhere else in the world. I love that some parts of it are made up of brilliant blinding corals and that other parts are rich mangrove swamps. I love that if you were to build a little rocket, stick a monkey in it, and then fire that rocket into space, the little monkey would be able to look out the window from the fringe of the atmosphere and take in the entire majesty of the Reef below before disappearing into an endless black void never to be seen again. Bye bye little monkey.
Anyway, it came as a great distress to me to discover that once again those evil government men are looking at plundering one of Earth’s greatest miracles for the sake of making a few bucks. Does their greed know no end? Why do they constantly seek to destroy us all? As if the Reef isn’t in enough trouble with climate change threats such as coral bleaching, crown-of-thorns starfish, over fishing, as well as pollution orientated destroyers like pesticide riddled agricultural catchment run offs, now the Queensland government men want to fast-track dredging and the dumping of millions of tonnes of seabed and rock, and increase shipping through the narrow straits between reefs! And the federal government men are considering approval of these developments, including the world’s biggest coal port at Abbot Point, 50 kays from the Whitsunday Islands. I’m no marine scientist but what the heck will little monkeys look at from outer space if the Reef gets destroyed? A sludge lagoon where the world’s most remarkable life force used to be, that’s what.
Thankfully, there are plenty of crew out there fighting the good fight to save the Great Barrier Reef, the Surfrider Foundation is one and my buddy Stu is another. Stu is one of the brains behind Free the Reef, an initiative that uses SMARTIVISM – the pulling together of forward thinking ethical businesses, artists and activism – to facilitate change. Right now Free the Reef is on tour using the power of art and live screen printing to raise awareness about the threats to the Reef. The end goal is to strongly influence decision makers to create future proofing legislation, ensuring the reef is free from all negative human interference forever.
That sounded good to me so I painted Stu’s Free The Reef mobile with bright colours so that you’d be mesmerised into making a contribution. Go to the shop, offer up your talents, save that Reef from those Government kooks today.