The 59-metre MY Steve Irwin will arrive in Noosa's Laguna Bay on the morning of Tuesday, July 31.
The 59-metre MY Steve Irwin will arrive in Noosa's Laguna Bay on the morning of Tuesday, July 31.

Sea Shepherd to visit Noosa

THE 59-metre MY ship Steve Irwin will majestically arrive in Noosa's Laguna Bay on Tuesday, July 31.

Ship operator Sea Shepherd has joined forces to form an alliance with the Stop Adani group to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Noosa landing of Sea Shepherd's flagship is part of its journey from Sydney via Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and Brisbane to Abbot Point coal terminal to oppose the Adani Carmichael coal mine, rail link and coal port, under the banner of Operation Reef Defence.

"Our position will be made clear - Australia will not trade the Great Barrier Reef with one of the world's biggest and most destructive coal mines,” a representative of Sea Shepherd said .

It will enter Laguna Bay, accompanied by a public flotilla including Noosa Coastguard.

The ship's arrival will initiate a special event to be held on Noosa Main Beach.

Sunshine Coast Stop Adani spokesman Jonathan Singh said the news the ship was coming caught everyone by pleasant surprise.

"When I first asked (Sea Shepherd) if they were coming I had to ask them to repeat it,” Mr Singh said.

He said of the 59-metre ship, "we don't get many of these in Laguna Bay”.

Mr Singh said Sea Shepherd wanted to "spread awareness of what we stand to lose regarding coal and gas mining”.

"Development of the proposed mine, rail link and coal port would require a massive dredging program - right through the heart of the reef - and bring an extra 500 coal ships through the Great Barrier Reef each year,” he said.

"Burning the coal, no matter where in the world, will worsen climate change which is already causing the reef to bleach and die.”

Mr Singh said Sea Shepherd approached the group on World Environment Day asking if they could host the event

"We said 'of course'.

"And because Noosa has biosphere status, and because Noosa Council passed a motion saying it would not support any mining in the shire [this was the place],” he said.

Sea Shepherd will moor at 9.30am on Tuesday outside the shark nets.

At 10.30am Sea Shepherd managing director Jeff Hansen and crew will land on Main Beach where Lyndon Davis will perform a Welcome to Country and Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington will give a welcome speech.

There will be gazebo stalls on the beach replete with vegan sausage sizzle and kebabs, music, sand sculpting, face painting and more.

At 6.30pm a Q&A public forum will be hosted by Peppers Resort Noosa, facilitated by Mayor Wellington, with six panellists from Sea Shepherd, Stop Adani, Seed Mob, Lock the Gate, Australian Conservation Association and Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Ticket availability will be advised shortly.

Mr Singh said schools would be invited to both the flotilla reception and the Q&A, but access to the Steve Irwin would be restricted.

"Boats will be welcome to circle, but there's no access to the ship,” he said.

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