Community members from Sydney and the Gold Coast, affiliated with the Global Cruise Activist Network (GCAN), have launched in Australia the GCAN Rethink Cruise Tourism campaign.
The campaign aims to compel cruise customers, investors and governments to imagine a socially, economically and environmentally responsible cruise industry, before allowing the cruise ship sector to restart following its Covid-19 hiatus.
The Rethink campaign is summarised in this brief YouTube video and the campaign has published 10 Reasons To Rethink Cruise Tourism (during Covid)
Maria Poulos Conklin of Save the Bay Coalition, which has been fighting plans to build a cruise terminal in Yarra Bay said:
“The cruise industry wants to use Australia’s relative success in stemming community transmission of Coronavirus to end the current ban on cruising, which was to expire on 17 December.* It has been working with the Australian Government for an early and controlled resumption of cruising. But we are uniting with port communities around the world to say it’s time to rethink cruise tourism,”
“Before rebooking a cruise, before investing money, before taking a cruise, before restarting cruise ships, please rethink your plan. Let’s not risk negating all the hard work and sacrifices we made with the shutdowns this year.”
“Cruise ships are proven to spread Covid-19. As we saw with the Ruby Princess and other ships this year that led to hundreds of cases and deaths, they are responsible for spreading this disease and remain a threat to public health and safety. It is not safe to resume cruising during a global pandemic and any future infectious disease outbreaks.”
“From burning huge volumes of highly polluting fuel, dumping waste in the ocean, underpaying their lowest-paid workers, and avoiding labor, tax, environmental and criminal laws, cruise companies have failed to protect the health and safety of passengers, workers and the environment. The latest example of this – the industry’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic – shows that governments must reign in and regulate this rogue industry in order to protect people, communities and the environments they depend on.”
“We call on cruise companies to delay their return to operations until they publish detailed plans with explicit commitments, benchmarks, and timelines that commit companies to implementing specific levels of performance and compliance over time.”
* Note: On December 8, the Federal Government announced the ban on cruise ships entering Australian waters will be extended for another three months [to March 18, 2021].