In an ideal world, the decision to not allow further expansion of
exploration and mining would include a plan to assist the miners to move on
to new pursuits. Certainly tourism would seem to be a great option. In
particular, the potential for bird tourism alone would seem to be enormous.
We know Christmas Island as an exciting venue for birding; the rest of
Australia knows it as an infamous detention centre, and this would need to
I do agree that the ABC headline can readily be interpreted as a criticism
of the decision. However, in the body of the article, it is clear that it is
the view of the local authority that is being reported (admittedly at
length). The Australian Government's reasons for its decision, as presented,
are relatively brief. What is lacking, in my view, is a forceful statement
from any organisation representing/supporting the decision.
Perhaps this where BA could come in. Does BA have a view? Did BA formally
oppose the mining proposal on grounds related to the Abbott's Booby? Did the
ABC journalist contact BA before writing the article? (I suspect that they
didn't.) In turn, BA needs to have a profile such that a working ABC
journalist knows to contact BA for a quote in every case involving birdlife.
Ken's point about "what happens to the miners when the whole island is
gutted" is very telling, and I suspect might well have been used by the ABC
had someone from a body such as BA said it to them.
We could feasibly end with a different headline: "Future of Christmas Island
Eco-tourism Ensured as Mine Expansion rejected." It may be useful to put
this view to the ABC even at this late stage, highlighting current bird
tourism and its potential, for example: Save Abbott's Booby and enable
people to come see it.
From: Birding-Aus On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, 1 June 2018 9:28 AM
To: <>; calyptorhynchus
Subject: Good news for Abbott's Booby?
Good news for Abbott's Booby? The way the story positions the reader one
would think that there is no good news!
One of the things that disturbs me about this story is the way it is
reported. [Even on the ABC]. ALWAYS the [traditional short term]
economic argument is emphasised over the environmental.
The headline, "Christmas Island facing economic collapse as mine
expansion rejected to save famous red crabs" - clearly suggests that
everyone should consider this a terrible outcome. The environmental /
biodiversity value is reduced to 'those red crabs'.
If we consider that mining continues until the whole island is gutted,
at the end of the day the miners will still lose their jobs, the island
would then face an economic crash but only after all eco tourism assets
have safely been destroyed. I assume the journalist would then be happy
with that option....
I want the headline; 'Huge Win - Christmas Island is protected forever!"