Interesting little clip that one. A few points have been left out as I guess it wouldn't have the dramatic effect it was looking for.
Fact of the matter is that the GBR is a shipping route and has been for longer than I can remember with a shipping channel inside the reef running top to bottom and through the Torres Straits with alot of ships (100's?) travelling it daily.
Those ports are existing ones and have been operational for decades. Some are undergoing expansion with Gladstone in particular branching out into gas. They are already a coal port like the others. So yes, there will be an increase in shipping numbers but it will be an increase by a few percent on what is already operating.
The ports are owned and operated by BMA, Rio Tinto and a few others. They are the major players in the coal industry up here and who benefit the most from it and ,again, have been doing this for decades. Gina and Clive are just new players and are a public face because of media.
I'm only pointing out that this is nothing new up through the GBR. It doesn't make it right, but to jump up and down about it now is a bit late. I will assume that similar is happening in WA as well.
You've got to keep it all in perspective, this reef has only existed for a few hundred, maybe thousand years. It grows and shrinks in cycles. Sometimes human activity causes damage, but other times nutrient levels are increased by agriculture or deforestation and these nutrients actually help the reef grow larger. The CSG industry will only last two or three decades before reserves are depleted. Maybe the reef will survive or maybe it won't. In the end, corals are living organisms and all life is finite anyway.
Er, no, nutrients from agriculture, in addition to sediment and pesticides from agricultural runoff, are a big threat to the reef, not helping it grow.