The Australian government has defended its controversial decision to approve the construction of an enormous sewage treatment plant on top of the entire Barrier Reef. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party government have not made the environment their top priority, but few expected them to cover the world’s largest coral reef system in human excrement so soon after coming to power.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman, Dr Russell Reichelt, said he recognised the amount of debate and community concern the project had generated, but wanted to assure the public that “only the finest human faeces will be chosen to be dumped on the reef, along with specially-selected soiled nappies and sanitary products.”
“It’s important to note,” he insisted today, “that the seafloor of the approved disposal area consists of coral reefs, which, I’m led to believe, are created by little animals. Now, who’s to say that these little coral-making creatures won’t actually thrive by being covered in excrement? I know I do.”
Federal environment minister Greg Hunt has been criticised for failing to show leadership on this, and his commitment to green issues was questioned after he was himself caught taking an enormous stinky dump off the side of a Barrier Reef sightseeing boat last week. When cornered by reporters, all he would say was that it was a “symbolic gesture.”
Tony Abbott’s supporters have applauded the great enturdment of the Reef, pointing out that people coming over the seas towards Australia will first be greeted by a huge steaming barrier of excrement, which is exactly the sort of first impression they want to give. “If that doesn’t prepare them for the immigration process, nothing will,” confided one.