US military admits it dropped bombs on the Great Barrier Reef

It was report in the US media on Saturday that the US had dropped four bombs on the Great Barrier reef four days earlier.   The bombs were dropped when they couldn’t get clear to drop on their targets during the Talisman Sabre training exercises.
Reports indicate that none of the bombs detonated, and most recent reports indicate they are in no hurry to collect them.

The story has no broken  internationally.

Read reports in The Guardian (UK), ABC (Australia), AlJazeera

See below media release from Friends of the Earth (Brisbane), sent on Saturday

Friends of the Earth Brisbane is alarmed at the disclosure that two US Harriet jets have dumped 500 pound bombs on the Great Barrier Reef earlier this week.  (article below and at:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/19/.UeoUfym4zA0.twitter  )

The US Marine jets are in Australia participating in US-Australia joint military exercise Talisman Saber, which sees 18,000 US and 9,000 Australian troops engaging in combined land, sea and air training, primarily at Shoalwater Bay, just north of Rockhampton in central Queensland.

Friends of the Earth campaigner, Robin Taubenfeld, was arrested yesterday while protesting Talisman Saber outside the Rockhampton Army Barracks.  Earlier in the week, Ms Taubenfeld had raised her concerns about Talisman Saber to Prime Minister Rudd at the Rockhampton Community Cabinet.  Friends of the Earth new report US bases in Australia: the social and environmental risks, released on Monday when the war games began, had also been presented to Environment Minister Mark Butler earlier in the evening.

Friends of the Earth’s concern about the military exercise are two-fold, Ms Taubenfeld explains:  “As a social justice organisation we are alarmed by US military expansion and the role Australia’s participation in that in our region and further afield.  As an environmental organisation, we are deeply concerned by the impacts that war and training for war has on our environment here and overseas.”

“As our report highlights, US military training has devastated numerous sites within the US and around the world, at Vieques, in the Philippines, in the Pacific.”

“Shoalwater Bay contains some of Queensland’s most pristine coast lines, including protected wetlands – its waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and include dugong and turtle habitats and whale migration routes.”

“War is not compatible with the environment and military training cannot be “green.” Neither Townshend Island, the intended destination for these bombs, nor any other part of the Great Barrier Reef should be used for military activity Talisman Saber must be stopped.”

Read Friends of the Earth’s report here: http://www.brisbane.foe.org.au/content/us-bases-australia-social-and-environmental-risks

For more information:

Friends of the Earth Brisbane, Robin Taubenfeld, 0411 118 737

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