Russell Crowe is joining the fight to help prevent Australian officials from opening up a portion of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve to a strip mining aluminum company. After the death of Irwin in 2006, politicians donated over 320,000 acres of wilderness to conservationists as a tribute. However, the new Aussie government is now considering issuing a permit to allow mining in the area — something Crowe is rallying support to prevent.
“That site actually operates as a water filter and there are some species of plants and animals that don’t really appear in other places, and the river the water runs into, the Wenlock River, has the largest bio-diversity range of any freshwater river in the country – it has things like saw-toothed sharks and estuarine crocodiles,” Contactmusic quoted Crowe as saying.
He added: “He’s (Irwin) not here to stand up for himself and I just feel, as his friend, that we can’t do that… I made an offer to the environmental minister to have a talk about it but he hasn’t bothered to respond.”
As part of the promotions for his new film State of Play, Crowe has been on late-night TV talking up the fight to save Irwin’s reserve. On The Late Show with David Letterman on April 17, Crowe said, “If any of you were ever touched by Steve’s attitude towards conservation… and making conservation an important subject for us to discuss… go to that website and sign up on that petition because that man deserves to be honored and respected, whether he’s alive or not. He was a fantastic person.”
Want to help? Check out the official “Save Steve’s Place” petition to sign your name and tell Australian officials that strip mining should not take place in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve!