"It's like looking down on an unclaimed bag in a subway," Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said today after flying over the coal tanker stuck fast on the Great Barrier Reef. Just one other small vessel is nearby.
From the air the pristine blue ocean dotted with coral ringed emerald lagoons of the Marine Park dominates, but the Shen Neng 1 sits below like an environmental time-bomb.
"I congratulate all those who are insisting no measure is too expensive to help rescue the Reef and coast from this threat," said Senator Brown.
"This is paradise in peril. The Greens will support every helpful measure to ameliorate the threat.
"The coal industry, along with its government facilitators, is to blame.
"Why did multibillion dollar corporations, on both sides of the ocean, refuse to pay $8,000 for a pilot?
"And for the introduction to our national Environment Protection Act calls for the Precautionary Principle!"
"The Commonwealth must be mobilising national and international technology to protect the Reef and coasts including Shoalwater Bay.
"Prime Minister Rudd must tell us he has taken personal command of the crisis."