Australia to pay for Great Barrier Reef restoration and protection

Great Barrier Reef to get to $500m to tackle pollution and breed more resilient coral

Great Barrier Reef to get to $500m to tackle pollution and breed more resilient coral

The Turnbull government has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef - the largest of its kind in Australian history.

The funds will go toward combating water pollution, predatory coral-eating starfish, increasing public awareness and reef monitoring, as well as modifying surrounding businesses so that they are more environmentally sound, Turnbull's office said.

The funding will be confirmed in the May budget, according to the newspaper.

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

"Today's investment brings real hope to the Great Barrier Reef", Dr Schubert said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said regional countries looked to Australia's example as a world leader in reef management, as the government's 2050 Plan was approved by the World Heritage Committee as being a standard for the rest of the world to follow.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will receive an additional AU$10 million each year from 2022-23 to "continue and expand essential work" in the Unesco World Heritage area, Efe news quoted Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Environment and Energy, as saying.

This month, scientists declared that much of the damage was irreversible, and said the only solution was a global one: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels, and get climate change under control.

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"You can not protect the reef from puddles of warm water sitting over the entire northern GBR, together with all of the cyclones that came at the same time which were also climate-related".

"It's not working, it's not achieving major water quality improvements", he said. We must address crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

"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 2016 bleaching event, the worst on record, mainly affected the north of the reef, while the recent damage has mostly impacted the middle sections, according to scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

"Like reefs all over the world, the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure".

"Millions of dollars will go into science and to better data management and to be able to test the impacts on the reef", he added.

The Reef is worth an estimated $3.7 billion annually to the Australian economy through fishing and tourism.

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