Australian actor Michael Caton
Australian actor Michael Caton David Thomas

Celebrities pen concern for sea

AS AUSSIE everyman Darryl Kerrigan, Monto-born actor Michael Caton fought for the rights of the little guy in the famous film, The Castle.

Now Caton is putting his name to an open letter signed by 14 other high-profile Queenslanders pleading with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to do more to protect the Coral Sea, including former premier Peter Beattie, songwriter John Williamson and wildlife photographer Steve Parish.

The Federal Government is now deciding the future of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve which runs from Bundaberg up to the Torres Strait.

The reserve could lead to one of the world's largest safehavens for marine life, but it has also been divisive in commercial and recreational fishing circles.

Environmentalists claim the government's proposal would leave more than 90% per cent of its coral reefs, as well as underwater mountains, spawning sites for tuna and black marlin, and migration routes for sea turtles and whales unprotected.

"We write as an independent group of Queenslanders who have come together to express our love of the ocean and our pride in Queensland's exceptional marine environment," the letter reads.

"The protection of our natural environment is the foundation of Queensland's future.

As our world grows ever more crowded, wild natural wonders like the Coral Sea will become ever more valuable.

For the benefit of all Australians, now and into the future, we urge you to create the world's largest marine national park in the Coral Sea."


Letter signatories

  • Former premier Mike Ahern
  • Former premier Peter Beattie
  • Actor Michael Caton
  • Immunologist Ian Frazer
  • Conservationist Aila Keto
  • Former federal member Peter Lindsay
  • Scientist Ian Lowe
  • Singer songwriter Pete Murray
  • Celebrity chef Ben O'Donoghue
  • Wildlife photographer Steve Parish
  • Former federal minister Molly Robson
  • The Thomas Foundation chairman David Thomas
  • Playwright David Williamson
  • Singer songwriter John Williamson
  • Founder of Wild Mob Graeme Wood

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