Government allocates $500 million to Great Barrier Reef

The Federal Government has announced $500 million in funding for initiatives to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

The Government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation through a $444 million agreement to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution into the Reef and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation partnership includes:

  • $201 million further improving water quality with changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use, and adopting new technologies and land management practices.

  • $100 million harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration and funding science that supports Reef resilience and adaptation.

  • $58 million expanding the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

  • $45 million supporting other work, particularly increasing community engagement such as Indigenous traditional knowledge for sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising activities.

  • $40 million enhancing Reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.

Dr John Schubert, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, said the investment brings hope for the reef.

“There is no doubt that our great living treasure is under enormous threat from climate change and we must all work together to do everything possible to achieve the Paris Agreement.

“But while the world works to tackle climate change on a global scale, there are many things we can and must do to build the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef right now.

“We must improve water quality. We must address crown-of-thorns-starfish outbreaks. We must ensure our reef managers and scientists are better equipped to manage and monitor our reefs, working smarter than ever before. And we must unlock new scientific insights that can help restore the reefs that have suffered damage.

“Today’s major investment brings real solutions within our grasp. These funds represent an unequalled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations,” he said.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority the Department of the Environment and Energy will also receive $56 million to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the Reef and an additional $10 million annually from 2022-23.

In a statement, the Government said the investment will aim to inspire Australians, philanthropists and companies to co-invest in a united effort to protect the Reef.

The new funding is in addition to the joint $2 billion Australian and Queensland Governments' Reef 2050 Plan that is currently underway.