The Morrison Government is building a more resilient and secure Australia, with $486.3 million in new environmental funding for oceans, biodiversity, recycling and waste, and climate resilience as part of the 2021-22 Budget.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Budget is helping secure Australia’s recovery by building on the Morrison Government’s commitment to practical on-ground environmental outcomes and long term national reform.
“The Budget takes new spending on the environment to more than $2 billion since 2019,” Minister Ley said.
“It strengthens our ongoing transformation of recycling and waste, climate adaptation planning, and helps protect our native species.
“This Budget recognises that supporting our amazing environment strengthens our economy and creates jobs.”
Australia’s position as a global leader on ocean and marine management will be further strengthened with an additional $100.1 million for a new Oceans Leadership Package, supporting our environment and regional employment opportunities.
The Oceans Leadership Package commits $30.6 million for restoring ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems like seagrass and mangroves that play a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere, improving the health of coastal environments domestically and regionally, and protecting native species and habitat.
$39.9 million will also support Australian Marine Parks, including an expansion of our marine park network into the Indian Ocean Territories, which will cover up to 740,000 square kilometres of water and lift the percentage of protected Australian waters from 37 per cent to 45 per cent, reinforcing Australia’s position as a world leader in marine park management.
The package will also provide: $11.6 million over two years to incorporate Sea Country in Indigenous Protected Areas across nine new locations; and $18 million to protect our iconic marine species, improve the sustainability of our fisheries by reducing bycatch and stimulate investment in our oceans.
Separate to the Oceans Leadership Package, continued assistance is also included for tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef with the further waiving of the Environment Management Charge for another 12 months.
Australian Climate Service
The Morrison Government will invest $209.7 million over four years to help Australia better anticipate, manage and adapt to the impacts of natural disasters and changing climates.
A new national information centre, the Australian Climate Service (ACS), will be established to inform Emergency Management Australia and the National Resilience and Recovery Agency in responding to, and preparing for, natural disasters.
A world-leading example of practical climate adaptation action, ACS will bring together and analyse high-level information from the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Recycling and waste
The Morrison Government is building on our billion dollar transformation of Australia’s recycling and waste industry with $77.9 million in new investments to reduce waste impacts on our environment, create jobs and grow the economy.
$67.0 million will be invested in new food organic and garden organic waste (FOGO) initiatives, establishing a Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund to divert 3.4 million tonnes of organic material from landfill for productive use in agricultural soils.
The fund will generate $401 million in industry value, create up to 2,700 additional jobs and establish an important model for wider recycling and soil partnerships.
$5.0 million in new funding will go to supporting small and medium sized business to adopt the Australasian Recycling Label, and $5.9 million for additional investments in industry-led national product stewardship schemes to reduce waste and increase resource recovery.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation
$9.0 million will fund the establishment and operation of an independent Environment Assurance Commissioner, and $2.7 million will support the development of a ‘pilot’ regional plan for a priority development region in partnership with a willing state or territory.
A further $0.5 million will support the Minister’s commitment to stakeholder engagement for modernising and strengthening the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage.
$17.1 million will be allocated for additional resourcing to continue improved assessment and approval times under the existing EPBC Act.
Threatened species and biodiversity
$29.1 million of additional funding will be invested to protect native species from the threats posed by invasive pest animals and weeds in our native environment.
The Commonwealth will work with local Natural Resource Management groups and Indigenous rangers through on-ground action and research for new and innovative measures.
The new funding complements existing investments in bushfire recovery for native species and habitat, safe havens, and a new ten year Threatened Species Strategy.
The new Budget measures announced tonight are in addition to the Morrison Government’s continued commitment to the environment, including our unprecedented investment in Antarctica, our Recycling Modernisation Fund, the second phase of the National Environmental Science Program and the continued rollout of bushfire recovery funding, heritage funding and Regional Land Partnerships.
This Budget demonstrates the Morrison Government’s continuing approach to practical, on-ground action to protect, preserve and enhance our incredible natural environment. Through these measures, the Government is securing Australia’s recovery for all Australians, and for generations to come.