Australia announces major funding for Great Barrier Reef

Australia to Allocate $500Mln to Protect Great Barrier Reef From Climate Change
Turnbull has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef

30 April, 2018

Australia will spend about $379 million to help save the Great Barrier Reef.

"The Australian Government 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 Australian government said in a statement released on April 29.

A major outbreak of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish has been destroying areas of the world heritage-listed reef, prompting a major cull in January.

The funding, which was confirmed in the May budget, came following results of studies that show the consequences of climate change on the world's largest coral reef system.

The reef has lost up to half its coral cover in the past 30 years, due to bleaching and pollution.

Conservationists say a new funding to restore and protect the Great Barrier Reef is "an important step" while the biggest threat to the reef is global warming.

A 2017 survey found coral mortality varied from the northern to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

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The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and The Department of the Environment and Energy will also get an additional funding of $56 million.

The bulk of the new funding - just over $151 million - was earmarked to improve water quality by changing farming practices and adopting new technologies and land management.

Agricultural run-off from sugar cane farms and cattle stations has also harmed the section of reef that is closest to shore, according to Bradley Opdike, a marine scientist at the Australian National University.

The Turnbull government has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef.

"We have seen right across the world a number of reefs being hit by this heat stress and this is combined here in Australia with also Cyclone Debbie as well as the Crown-of-thorns starfish", he said.

"We want to ensure the reef's future for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on [it]", Turnbull said on Sunday.

The reef has been in danger for years.

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