Australian Government Says Natural Wonder at Risk from Climate Change

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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A government report about the risk an Australian natural habitat faces from climate change is giving Prime Minister Julia Gillard a boost in her campaign to pass a new carbon tax.

A report commissioned by the Climate Change Department looks at the effect of rising sea levels on Kakadu National Park's river system for the years 2030 and 2070, and finds that seawater would threaten the wetland's natural ecosystems and deprive indigenous communities of their “bush tucker,” or native wild foods.

Kakadu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometers in Australia's Northern Territory.

Ms. Gillard is struggling to convince members of her fragile one-seat majority government to impose a carbon tax on the country's biggest polluters for three to five years, before transitioning to a carbon emissions trading program. But she is facing strong resistance from the opposition party and Australia's powerful mining interests, who say the prime minister's plan will lead to a loss of investment and jobs.