6 September, 2020
Bells are tolling for our reef
Cairns community groups came together today to ‘sound the alarm’ on global warming before the state election and celebrate the regional launch of the multi-faith organisation Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).
Representatives from the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), Australian Parents for Climate Action (AP4CA), Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) gathered outside St Monica’s to ring various types of bells accompanied by the peeling of the magnificent cathedral bells.
ARRCC is a nationwide organisation of people from different religions who are committed to action on climate change.
The timing of the Cairns launch on Father’s Day is a symbolic statement, reflecting the group's core principle of climate justice, protecting the future of the world’s children and vulnerable.
Cairns Anglican Priest Neil Forgie referenced the famous quote: “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children”.
“This election, as we rebuild from the pandemic we have a rare chance to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable society. For the sake of our kids, we must seize it,” he said.
“Climate change is a global challenge that is already impacting us here in Far North
Queensland. As stewards of creation we feel it is vital to add our voice to the Cairns community calling for action on climate change.
“We need our Government to show decisive leadership to protect our irreplaceable world wonders like our Great Barrier Reef and rainforest that also help safeguard our community’s livelihoods and families’ futures.
“Urgent climate action is needed to protect our natural environments, the world’s vulnerable and to build our FNQ community. This Queensland election we want to see decisive government policy enabling a faster transition to renewables and sustainable stimulus to help our region, Reef and planet recover. It’s the right thing to do.”
AMCS Cairns campaigner Elise Springett said ARRCC’s powerful voice added to a chorus of groups and individuals calling for climate action for Far North Queensland.
“The message is clear, our community cares about the future of our Reef and region, we want action now,” she said.
“Our Reef has suffered three mass coral bleachings in only five years, we know that climate change is the culprit. The Government needs to step up and show leadership to protect our irreplaceable Reef, so crucial to our local economy and livelihoods. Investment in renewable energy will generate regional jobs and help safeguard the future of the Reef and our vital tourism industry.”