Pacific Islands contingent visit Hunter coal assets during climate change visit to Australia | poll

BAILEY Koulapi and  Kuata Taumaheke say rising sea levels are steadily eroding the nine coral atolls that make up their South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, (formerly the Ellice Islands), about 1100 kilometres north of Fiji.

 Kotei Temakei and Maningare Bwamatang are similarly worried about their home, Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands), some 2800 kilometres north-east of Tuvalu.

Together with Sydney-based Fijians Adi Mariana Waqa and Melaia Turagaiviu, the islanders are in Australia for a fortnight visit as part of the Kiribati-Australia-Tuvalu Exchange Program, which is backed by various groups including the Uniting Church and the Catholic Church’s Edmund Rice Centre.

With greenhouse gases from fossil fuels blamed for rising sea levels, the group met with Climate Action Newcastle members to look at the port’s coal loaders, before driving to Singleton to look at various open-cut mines.

WATCHFUL: Bailey Koulapi from Tuvalu, Mangingare Bwamatang from Kiribati and Su Morley from Climate Action Newcastle at the Carrington Coal Terminal operated by Port Waratah Coal Services on Monday. Picture: Marina Neil.

WATCHFUL: Bailey Koulapi from Tuvalu, Mangingare Bwamatang from Kiribati and Su Morley from Climate Action Newcastle at the Carrington Coal Terminal operated by Port Waratah Coal Services on Monday. Picture: Marina Neil.

DEFIANT: Pacific Climate Warriors before an earlier visit to Newcastle protesting against coal's role in climate change, and the ocean inundation affecting their islands.

DEFIANT: Pacific Climate Warriors before an earlier visit to Newcastle protesting against coal's role in climate change, and the ocean inundation affecting their islands.