Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Turnbull Government pledges $500 for Great Barrier Reef restoration

Turnbull Government pledges $500 for Great Barrier Reef restoration

A serious outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish — which might develop to 13in and have as much as 21 arms — is destroying the reef.

"Our contribution, through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, represents the single largest funding commitment ever for reef conservation and management in Australia's history", Josh Frydenberg, Australia's environment and energy minister, said in an op-ed that stressed that "the right plan and the right investment" will ensure the reef's survival.

"They look to Australia to provide the technical expertise the scientific research, and to give the best practice management of coral reefs and that's what we demonstrate", she told reporters on Sunday from Cairns on Australia's east coast.

The Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from space, covers 348,000 square kilometers and was world-heritage listed in 1981 as the most spectacular coral reef on the planet, according to the website of the United Nations cultural body UNESCO. The reef has lost a large percentage of its coral in recent decades due to a variety of environmental stresses.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's administration has also come under criticism for pursuing environmentally burdensome gas and coal projects rather than investing in renewable energies that emit fewer greenhouse gases.

Here's how this funding will be used to save the world's largest coral reef system.

Climate change has threatened the Great Barrier Reef.

Aerial surveys conducted in April past year showed more than two-thirds of the coral in the Barrier Reef had experienced "shocking" amounts of bleaching.

"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".

"Today's major investment brings real solutions within our grasp".

Some of the money will be used to help farmers near the reef change the way they do things.

"But these are important initiatives, we continue to invest heavily recognising that all Australians have an investment, have an interest, have a stake in the future health of the Reef".

The Authority's future funding has also been secured with an additional $10 million in annual funding from 2022-23.

Agricultural run-off from sugar cane farms and cattle stations has also harmed the section of reef that is closest to shore, according to Bradley Opdike, a marine scientist at the Australian National University.

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