$256 million over the next five years to improve reef water quality

Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch has called on the Federal Government to take a more collaborative approach to reef investment, and for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to show stronger leadership in setting effective national climate change policy.
Following news the federal government would spend $60 million over the next 18 months to tackle mass bleaching and sediment runoff, Ms Enoch said the investment is a starting point, but more is needed from Canberra.
“We know how valuable the Great Barrier Reef is to Queenslanders, our tourism industry, and people right around the world. That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is committed to protecting this iconic natural wonder by improving the overall health of the reef,” Ms Enoch said.
“We’re investing more than $256 million over the next five years to improve reef water quality in a bid to make the reef more resilient in the face of stressors to the underwater ecosystem, including crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.
“And in light of devastating coral bleaching that has affected the reef over the past two summers, we have worked with the Commonwealth to bring forward the mid-term review of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, giving us a key opportunity to strengthen this critical work.
“Right now though, the key challenge facing the reef is climate change. With our Queensland Climate Change Response, our 50 per cent renewable energy target and our commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, the Palaszczuk Government is making sure that Queensland is doing its part to combat climate change,” she said.
“Meanwhile, you have members of Turnbull’s LNP, like Ian MacDonald and George Christensen, running around saying climate change is a hoax and the stuff of science fiction – which contradicts federal investment to improve reef conditions.
“It’s important we listen to our science community when it comes to the health of the reef. We need to make sure this is always front and centre of everyone’s thinking, and, importantly, government and industry planning.
“Today’s funding announcement by the Prime Minister is welcome, but what we still need from the federal government is robust national policy to address the challenges of climate change.”
Minister Enoch added that more than $9 million of the Palaszczuk Government’s $256 million investment is going towards work with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to deliver a joint field management program through Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This vital program undertakes surveillance and monitoring activities throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and national park islands,” she said.
“In addition to this, we’re investing $2.3 million for public moorings and reef protection markers to provide safe and sustainable access at high use boating destinations – reducing the need for boat users to drop their anchors, particularly on sensitive island fringing reefs.
“We’re also investing $8.9 million for improved infrastructure on Great Barrier Reef Islands, and $1.7 million to help cut carbon emissions on Great Barrier Reef Islands by providing funding to develop business cases for solar, wind and gas generation.”


Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

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