a letter to environment minister, greg hunt

This is a longer (more sweary) version of the letter I sent The Age and the office of Environment Minister, Greg Hunt in the wake of the news that he has approved the dredging at Abbot Point. Read. Share. Write to Greg Hunt. This is so important and we are running out of time. Thank you.


Minister Greg Hunt,

Ours is a totally unique and delicate environment. You have the honour to be charged with its protection. This is an honour that you are not taking seriously.

Greg, are you trying to be a comic book villain? Some days I can think of no other explanation. How else could you sign off on something as damaging as the massive dredging project at Abbot Point. This is a 6000-year-old natural treasure. You are the person with the ability to treasure it.

Greg, here are some figures for you. The Reef is the largest single structure made of living organisms in the world. It is home to 30 species of dolphins, whales and porpoises, 6 species of sea turtle, around 125 species of sharks, sting-rays, skates or chimaera and 1,500 species of fish. Around 1.5 million individual birds visit or nest on the reef in a single year. In addition to this the reef is home to 2,200 known species of plants and an epic 5000 species of molluscs. I hope this is building up a picture in your mind but, in truth, I cannot even fit those 1.5 million birds in my head. It is a figure too staggering and too stunningly beautiful to contemplate. What I do know is how lucky I am to live in this complex, vibrant and mind-blowing country.

Greg, I want to grow old in this environment. I want my children to see it. I want them to see it in person, not in history books! I want them to snorkel and be utterly awe struck. Honestly, I want them to swear. I mean it! I hope all decent words flee their minds and all they can manage is an appreciative f-bomb. I want the reef to still be here in twenty years time to make kids swear in appreciation and mystification.


Please Minister Hunt, go to your laptop right now and just google image search Great Barrier Reef. Better yet, go there. That is the privilege of living in our times: you could go there tomorrow. Be wowed. Be mystified. Be shaken. Swear. I dare you. Say “fuck.” Say it again for good measure. Say “what a beautiful fucking country I have to look after.” Say “I’m fucking lucky to see this.” Because you are, Greg. So, so lucky.

Please, re-consider your decision.

I fucking beg you.


Fleur Kilpatrick


Please go here and write a letter to Greg Hunt. Let him know that you value our incredible Reef.

Thank you to Anne-Marie for her proof reading and these guys for their awe-inspiring Reef facts and figures.


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