Pauline Hanson Challenges Scientist About The Health Of The Great Barrier Reef
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Experts have been sounding the alarm for years that climate change is having a devastating impact on the world's largest living organism: the Great Barrier Reef.
Parts of the reef have been bleached, which turn the normally beautifully coloured coral into a stark white.
While there have been numerous groups asking for greater attention on the issue, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson thinks it's a bit dramatic.
The politician has questioned the science being purported by the experts and asked why coral in warmer regions haven't suffered bleaching events.
The Queenslander said to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's top scientist, Dr David Wachenfeld, during a Senate Estimates hearing: "You're saying that coral bleaching is affected by water temperatures.
"Yet around Indonesia, closer to the equator...where the water temperatures are 29C, it's a known fact that coral actually grows faster and more prolific in warmer temperatures."
Dr Wachenfeld explained that the coral that has been growing on the Great Barrier Reef for so many years and is used to the conditions that have persisted for so long.
Because there are small changes in ocean temperature, it's causing this coral to become stressed and bleach.
"The fact that corals in Indonesia could withstand higher temperatures than corals on the central Great Barrier Reef is of no benefit to the corals of the central Great Barrier Reef when they die," Dr Wachenfeld explained to Ms Hanson.
The One Nation leader hasn't been shy about her disdain for science saying the Great Barrier Reef is dying.
She held a highly publicised trip to Great Keppel Island, where she was filmed with 'healthy' coral to prove that the reef was fine. That was an interesting move considering the mass bleaching event that has rocked the reef occurred hundreds of kilometres away near Lizard Island.
"The trip is like taking journalists reporting on a conflict to a five-star holiday resort miles away from the actual war zone," the Climate Council's Professor Lesley Hughes said.
"We're happy to take the senators to an area actually affected by bleaching so they can see it for themselves."
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