Brisbane resident June Norman with other protesters at Acland coal seam gas fields. Now she’ll walk from Cairns to Gladstone to show her opposition to development on the Great Barrier Reef.
Brisbane resident June Norman with other protesters at Acland coal seam gas fields. Now she’ll walk from Cairns to Gladstone to show her opposition to development on the Great Barrier Reef. Bev Lacey

Activist takes a long walk to protest reef development

SHE has walked across Europe, biked from Rockhampton to Lismore and protested at coal seam gas fields.

Now June Norman will add a journey on foot from Cairns to Gladstone to her list of environmentally motivated feats.

The Brisbane 72-year-old has devoted the latter part of her life to activism, including protesting against mining development in Queensland and war games at Shoalwater Bay.

Her passion has led her on long ventures across Australia and overseas, where she walked from London to Geneva to raise awareness about nuclear power.

Her focus has shifted recently in the face of growing shipping movements and development pressures on the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

In a bid to raise awareness about the pressing issue, she will walk the 1200km alongside the reef, stopping in at communities along the way.

"I walk to try and make sure there is a sustainable future for my grandchildren and for that generation," she said.

Ms Norman met with UNESCO officials after walking from Dalby to Gladstone last year.

She said she returned from the walk and talked to everyday Queenslanders and realised the lack of knowledge about the threats to the reef.

"We have done the lying down in front of bulldozers, doing submissions and meeting with the ministers and it doesn't make a bit of difference," she said.

"It's only people power when enough people stand up and say 'No, we will stop this'."

Ms Norman, a member of Friends of the Earth, will leave from Cairns on June 1 and expects the walk to take about 10 weeks.

She has invited residents to join her on her journey.


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