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SEI in the Media: Iain McCalman Says Obama’s Speech Could Inspire Action on Reef

Iain McCalman responds to US President Barrack Obama’s statement that he hopes his grandchildren can see the Great Barrier Reef one day.

Professor Iain McCalman, co-director of the Sydney Environment Institute, was quoted in the Brisbane Times recently after US President Barrack Obama gave a speech at the University of Queensland during the G20 Summit. President Obama called for Australia to save the Great Barrier Reef, referring to it is a natural wonder. He said, “I want to come back, and I want my daughters to be able to come back, and I want them to be able to bring their daughters or sons to visit. And I want that there 50 years from now.”

In response, Professor McCalman pointed to  campaigns run by poet Judith Wright, artist John Busst and ecologist Len Webb, who fought against the government’s plan to open the reef to mining.

“It must have had some arresting impact, I hope,” Professor McCalman said of Mr Obama’s speech.

“I think they were really important [comments] and I don’t think they were made lightly.

“For him to say that, I think he really believes like a lot of people outside of Australia that we’re the reef’s custodians and it belongs to the world.”

Read the full article in The Brisbane Times.