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Save the Great Barrier Reef? I’ll drink to that


24 August 2019 at 7:30 am
Maggie Coggan
A beer-for-social-good company is throwing its support behind a campaign to make the Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen, launching a limited edition “citizen reef” beer. 


Maggie Coggan | 24 August 2019 at 7:30 am


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Save the Great Barrier Reef? I’ll drink to that
24 August 2019 at 7:30 am

A beer-for-social-good company is throwing its support behind a campaign to make the Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen, launching a limited edition “citizen reef” beer. 

The Citizen Reef campaign, launched in May by media company LadBible, is calling for the Great Barrier Reef to be granted citizenship in Australia so it can be awarded the same rights and protections as any other citizen of the country. 

This would include freedom from torture, the highest standard of health and the right to life. 

According to government agency the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, the reef is already experiencing the consequences of climate change – most notably, two consecutive years of coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.

James Grugeon, founder of The Good Beer Co. told Pro Bono News he was drawn to the campaign because of its unique approach to the issue.

“Campaigning for the reef to become an Australian citizen is really compelling, and it’s a fun way of having a conversation with people about a really serious issue,” Grugeon said. 

The Good Beer Co. donates 10 per cent of profits made from its “Great Barrier Beer” to the Australian Marine Conservation Society and will do the same with its Citizen Reef beer.  

The beer is currently available for pre-order in preparation for its release in September, but Grugeon said they were already getting interested from people outside their usual customer demographic. 

“One of the reasons we wanted to partner with LadBible on the campaign was to engage a group of people that might not usually think about the health of the reef,” he said.  

“We created the Great Barrier Beer to do this exact thing, start a conversation with everyday Australians when they see it on the shelves in mainstream supermarkets.” 

The campaign’s Change.org petition has nearly 60,000 signatures out of the 75,000 it’s aiming for, and on Tuesday a campaign spokesperson said the federal minister for citizenship, David Coleman, was “looking at ways to make the Great Barrier Reef an Australian citizen”.

Grugeon also believes the campaign will do more than just spark conversation.

“I really hope this makes it clear to the federal government that this is an issue that they’re going to need to address, because Australians are worried about the reef, and it is something they really care about,” he said.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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