Government pledges $500 million to preserve Great Barrier Reef

Posted April 29, 2018

500 million big ones will finally be allocated to the Great Barrier Reef by the Turnbull Government to try and improve the seriously worrying conditions the GBR are in at the moment.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the money would go towards improving water quality, tackling predators, and expanding restoration efforts. Moreover, $58 million will be committed to fight crown-of-thorns starfish, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.

The Great Barrier Reef, a coral reef system larger than Italy, is severely endangered as a result of global warming.

Crown-of-thorn starfish have been discovered eating their way through coral on the southern end of the reef.

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He said there was no doubt climate change had put the Reef under threat, but said there were tangible things Australia could do to build its resilience.

But in recent years, it has lost almost a third of its coral due to bleaching linked to rising sea temperatures and damage from crown-of-thorns starfish.

Jon Brodie, a professor at James Cook University's Coral Reef Studies Centre of Excellence said the funding was an extension of existing failed programs.

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.

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Josh Frydenberg, the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, says,"This is the single largest investment in Reef restoration and management in Australia's history". "And we must unlock new scientific insights that can help restore the reefs that have suffered damage". The remaining $40 million will be used to monitor reef health.

But in the past two years the world-heritage listed site has lost more than half its coral.

UNESCO considered putting it on the "in danger" list a year ago due to recent widespread destruction but voted against it, allowing Australia's conservative government to dodge political embarrassment and potential damage to the country's tourism industry.

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