Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s announcement yesterday of $15 million in new projects aimed at reducing chemical pollution on the Great Barrier Reef shows that progress is being made on the government’s Reef Trust initiative.
“It is good to see progress being made on implementing the Reef Trust, with yesterday’s allocation going to projects aimed at controlling erosion and reducing fertilizer run-off,” said WWF’s Queensland Program Leader Nick Heath.
“The Reef Trust vehicle could be a key financing source for the future protection of the Reef if additional monies can be committed in coming years.”
In January this year, Landcare groups estimated that $785 million was needed over the next five years, with billions needed over the longer term to halt the decline of the Great Barrier Reef.
“We would like to see the same level of investment in the Great Barrier Reef that we have seen for the Murray-Darling Basin, bringing the total amount invested in the Reef’s future into the billions,” Mr Heath said.
“Given the Reef will earn $30 billion over the next five years alone and employ an estimated 69,000 people, this is an important economic investment in Australia's future.”
The allocation comes as UNESCO prepares to meet in June to consider if the Reef will be listed as World Heritage In Danger.
WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Charlie Stevens, Senior Communications Officer