Sometime between then and now, someone wisely threw a World Heritage Site designation upon the Great Barrier Reef. This has not stopped newly-minted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott blacking up the place with one of the world's largest coal ports on its doorstep, nor permitting it to infinitely crap on its front lawn:
Unfortunately, soon a massively destructive coal port will be built just 50 km north of the magnificent Whitsunday Islands. The port expansion was approved by the Abbott Liberal National government on Wednesday 11 December, and it will become one of the world's largest coal ports.
The coal export facility is ironically located on Abbot Point. The construction of this port will involve dredging 3 million cubic metres of seabed. The dredge spoil will be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
To give you an idea of the scale of this dredging, if all of the spoil was put into dump trucks, there would be 150,000 of them lined up bumper to bumper from Brisbane to Melbourne.
This is the desperation of a mining industry grasping at a downward spiral, Dutch disease by environmental hari-kari. NZ learned a less harsh lesson with Solid Energy.
Dagg knows what a disappearing Great Barrier Reef will do to Oz weather patterns. Here's hoping those Queenslanders have their nonsense on reinforced stilts.
And now, here's an Xmas message from the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Atkinson. This message managed to become the most complained-about thing on Brit TV for the year.
Happy Summer Solstice, whinge pom pom pom pom.