The Australian Government has announced it will protect thousands of jobs, improve water quality, tackle coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and implement scientific reef restoration on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Government will invest more than $500 million – the largest ever single investment – to protect the reef, secure its viability and the 64,000 jobs that rely on it.

The reef is a critical national asset providing $6.4 billion a year to the Queensland and Australian economies.

The Australian Government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation through a ground-breaking $444 million agreement to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution into the reef and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of the Environment and Energy will also be boosted with $56 million to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the reef and to support this significant additional investment.

The Authority’s future funding has also been secured with an additional $10 million each year from 2022-23 to continue and expand essential work across the World Heritage Area.

The investment, made in this International Year of the Reef, will also go towards inspiring Australians, philanthropists and companies to co-invest in a united effort to protect the reef, the planet’s greatest living wonder.

It is an investment not only in the future of the Great Barrier Reef, but also in Australian jobs and economy through the tourists the it attracts every year.

Like reefs all over the world, the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure. A big challenge demands a big investment – and this investment gives the reef the best chance.

 

It builds on and directly supports the intensive work already underway through the joint $2 billion Australian and Queensland Governments’ Reef 2050 Plan.

This Great Barrier Reef Foundation partnership includes:

  • $201 million further improving water quality with changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use, and adopting new technologies and land management practices.
  • $100 million harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration and funding science that supports Reef resilience and adaptation.
  • $58 million expanding the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.
  • $45 million supporting other work, particularly increasing community engagement such as Indigenous traditional knowledge for sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising activities.
  • $40 million enhancing Reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.

According to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, this investment ‘reinforces the environmental, economic, social and cultural importance of the Great Barrier Reef, and that there is a role for everyone in protecting it for generations to come.’

Image caption: Reef funding announcement, Cairns

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