The Greens Senator for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the passing of Ian Kiernan.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Ian Kiernan was a giant of the environment movement. He used the profile he had gained from his yachting success as a platform to fight for the environment. We all found his love of the ocean an inspiration.
“As founder of Clean Up Australia he rallied the Australian community and then went on to rally the world against plastic pollution.
“In 2007, he also called out the “elephant in the room” for climate change in Australia, our nation’s massive and growing coal exports.
“Ian was a two decade-long advocate for a national container deposit scheme and plastic bag ban, something I still fight for today. He regularly said that Clean Up events in South Australia found half as much rubbish as they find in other states because of their successful container deposit scheme.
“He saw his work in building a mass volunteer movement as a way of engaging people and turning their attention to the issue in their own communities. He would then use that opportunity to enlist them to press government and industry to do more.
“We will continue to fight for his legacy, there is so much more he wanted done to protect our oceans.
“I express my condolences to his family, friends and everyone at Clean Up who loved him and were inspired by him,” he concluded.