Waleed Aly thinks "stopping the boats" will save the Great Barrier Reef.

He certainly wasn’t giving out high-fives on this one.

Waleed Aly hijacked The Project this evening because — and happily this seems to be becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence — there was something he needed to talk about.

With his feet firmly planted on his invisible soapbox, Aly ripped into the government and its Environment Minister Greg Hunt for their continued failure to protect the Great Barrier Reef; the largest in the world.

This government? No! Climate change is a conspiracy for world domination, says Tony Abbott’s advisor.

Last week, the United Nations conservation agency UNESCO recommended that the reef NOT be placed on the World Heritage “in danger” list.

And while this is good news for the million-dollar Queensland Tourism industry, many have expressed their concern that we aren’t taking its long-term health seriously enough.

“Don’t worry about ‘Finding Nemo’, soon we won’t have to look very hard,” Aly warned. “He’ll be floating on top of the sea.”

“See that? He’s right there… He’s dead.”

“Despite what the UN says, the reef is in danger and scientists say it will be dead by the end of this century. And that’s because we’ve mined next to it, we’ve thrown dredge on it, we’ve let sediment run into it, we’ve overfished it and we’ve pumped it full of carbon dioxide.”

Go us.

“Oh, and guess what? We’ve killed half it in thirty years. And now the side effects of climate change, like coral bleaching, threaten to finish the job.”

For those still not convinced that WE DON’T GOT THIS, Aly then reminded his audience that Australia was labelled the second worst out of nearly 60 countries when it came to tackling climate change. Just above Saudi Arabia, you know, the world’s largest oil exporter.

Remember when they got rid of that pesky carbon tax? Har har har.

“The UN lists the pollution of marine waters, non-renewable energy facilities and marine transport infrastructure as some of the major things affecting the Reef in 2015. And all those things are set to increase,” he said.


“Because what Old Gregg [props for the Mighty Boosh reference] isn’t talking about is the plan that he approved last July to create one of the biggest coal mines on the planet right next to the reef.”

The mine he is referring to is just one of NINE mega-mines planned for the Galilee Basin, which would see billions of tonnes of coal dug up and transported across the Great Barrier Reef on giant carriers and ships.

So what just what does Aly suggest we should do? Why, what we do in any time of crisis, of course. Look to our great leaders and ask: “What would Tony do?”

“I never thought I would say this but… we need to stop the boats,” Aly concluded.

Lucky he didn’t ask “What would Old Gregg do?” or we’d all be drinking Bailey’s from a shoe right now.

Watch the whole segment here:

More from Waleed Aly:

Waleed Aly owns the debate over Adam Goodes’ war cry.

Waleed Aly grills Malcolm Turnbull over domestic violence funding.

The one where Waleed Aly slams Australia’s action on climate change.