Money in Budget for Barrier Reef

Gladys Abbott
May 1, 2018

Australia has promised an investment of $500 million AUD (approximately $379 million USD) to rescue the already fragile Great Barrier Reef in the greatest investment the Australian government has ever undertaken in coral reef preservation.

The announcement comes just weeks after a study, published in Nature journal, found 29 per cent of reefs lost two-thirds or more of their corals in a "catastrophic" marine heatwave in 2016.

$201 million will go into changing farming practices to prevent water pollution from run-off; $100 will support new scientific projects to restore the reef and make it more resilient; a further $40 million will improve reef monitoring and track it health.

"The funding provides us with a long-term guarantee of a strong on-water presence to manage the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area through the on-ground work by our field officers".

The administration of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Sunday it is earmarking more than AU$500 million, or $379 million in US dollars, to protect the reef in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. "It will secure the Reef for future generations", Australian Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg said.

The Australian Government announced yesterday a record level of investment into saving the Great Barrier Reef from environmental damage.

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Global warming is a major threat to the coral because the rise in sea temperatures expels the algae that grow inside them.

What it means: a year ago, we reported that the Great Barrier Reef was dying, and the Aus government was prioritising coal exploration rather than saving it. Things change.

Back-to-back bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 have devastated a 1,500 km (900 miles) stretch of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. "The Reef is a critical national asset providing $6.4 billion a year to the Queensland and Australian economies", he said in a media release.

The government will increase funding for the Great Barrier Reef marine park authority and the department of the environment and energy by $56m to expand environmental management and compliance operations. Now, even more recent damage, as explained by CNN, has also affected the middle region of the reef, which is why the Great Barrier Reef restoration is essential.

Critics seized on Australia's continued subsidized development of gas and coal, especially its openness to the Adani coal mine in northern Australia that would be among the world's largest, pushing coal on boats running near the reef. Annually, the reef has a worth of an estimated $3.7 billion, generated through fishing and tourism.

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