Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Australia to spend half a billion to protect 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
Derrick Tucker | 29 April, 2018, 21:42

Australia's federal government is allotting half a billion dollars to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

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.

Of that, $201 million will go towards improving water quality by changing farming practices; $100 million for Reef restoration, and encouraging resilience and adaptation; $58 million expanding the fight against coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish; increasing community engagement with $45 million, and; $40 million to enhance health monitoring.

We must ensure our reef managers and scientists are better equipped to manage and monitor our reefs, working smarter than ever before...

But despite the funding, Mr Frydenberg reaffirmed his position that global warming remained the biggest threat to the reef.

"Science is well aware of what's killing the coral".

"To simultaneously promote the world's biggest coal mine (Adani) while pretending to care about the world's largest reef is an acrobatic feat only a cynical politician would attempt".

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It will also help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress.

"Our elected representatives can't have it both ways", she said.

The government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in an agreement worth $444 million to mitigate the effects of climate change, reduce pollution, and deal with crown-of-thorns starfish, the coral-eating starfish that can munch their way through corals when they explode in numbers.

"We must improve water quality".

The Federal Government has made the commitment - to be included in next month's budget.

"This is the single largest investment in restoration and management in Australia's history", Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told ABC.

A study in the journal Nature said some 30 percent of the reef's coral perished, the first of an unprecedented two successive years of coral bleaching along the 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef.

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