Australian Government

03/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/13/2019 21:12

$19 Million in clean water grants to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Minister for the Environment

Media release
14 March 2019

The Morrison Government is delivering on its commitment for immediate action to protect the Great Barrier Reef with the announcement today of $19 million in water quality grants through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF).

These grants are made possible through the Morrison Government's $443 million game-changing investment into restoring and protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

The 10 water quality grants will fund 11 projects over two years through practical initiatives including the restoration of eroded gullies, improved farming practices, improved fertiliser management, accreditation schemes and monitoring soil levels in critical areas and are part of a $201 million GBRF water quality program.

Run off from farms increases nutrient levels in the water, which damage coral and encourage the crown of thorns star fish population, while sediments damage seagrass eco-systems and inshore coral. These issues further compound the Reef's ability to cope with climate change.

This is about working with landholders and farmers to protect the reef and is in keeping with the Morrison Government's Reef 2050 Plan developed in partnership with the Queensland Government.

This announcement is a clear reminder that we are getting on with the job of protecting the Reef, and the 64,000 Australians whose livelihoods depend on its future health, including across Central and North Queensland.

Unfortunately, these crucial projects would be cancelled if a Shorten Labor government was elected. Labor's plans to rip these urgently needed funds from the reef will mean its recovery and protection will be under threat, as will be the Queensland communities who rely on the reef.

The Coalition's Reef 2050 Plan is backed by more than $1.2 billion in reef funding from Coalition Government investment, and has been endorsed by the World Heritage Committee and praised by the OECD as a model framework.

I congratulate the Foundation for getting on with this important task. The Foundation is developing practical projects with indigenous owners, local growers, farmers, and communities and strong partnerships with universities and research institutes.

Further details of the successful projects can be found on the Foundation's website (www.barrierreef.org).