Working together to protect Reef in 2020-21

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment

The Hon Warren Entsch MP, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation will lead $96 million worth of Australian Government spending on reef protection this year as part of the $443.3 million Reef Trust Partnership.

Today’s release of the Reef Trust Partnership’s Annual Work Plan marks the next stage of an ambitious agenda to bring science, innovation and community together to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said it was more important than ever that we work together to address the rising challenges facing the reef.

“Over the next 12 months we will be testing new approaches and technologies to protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef, building on the Partnership’s key on-ground achievements from its first two years of operation,” Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.

Key activities will include:

  • Reef restoration and adaptation science – more than $23 million to support the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, exploring new technologies to boost reef resilience such as coral shading
  • Water quality – $39 million to improve the quality of water flowing into the reef and deliver over 20 water quality innovation projects across reef catchments
  • Crown-of-thorns starfish control – more than $15 million to support crown-of-thorns starfish control activities and launch a Crown-of-thorns Starfish Control Innovation Program
  • Traditional Owner reef protection – over $7 million committed to the first phase of a Traditional Owner-led water quality program and support for Indigenous innovation, leadership and collaboration
  • Community reef protection – over $3 million to engage the broader community in more citizen science and local action projects
  • Integrated monitoring and reporting – more than $7 million to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of reef monitoring, including the initiation of a Technology Transformation Fund

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Warren Entsch welcomed the release of the plan and its continued focus on strong engagement with reef industries and communities.

“Under the Partnership we have been working with farmers, canegrowers and commercial operators to improve water quality and address threats to the resilience of the reef, including outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish.

“This year’s Annual Work Plan takes things a step further by testing a range of new approaches and technologies, and I look forward to seeing this great work continue.”

Managing Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Anna Marsden, said the Great Barrier Reef is an irreplaceable ecosystem home to thousands of species of marine life, and we can and must save it for future generations.

“Right now, we’re making a real impact with more than 60 reef-saving projects already underway in regional Queensland with more than 65 project delivery partners,” Ms Marsden said.

“The significant investment of $96 million will mean that two-thirds of the $443 million partnership will have been committed to Reef-saving projects within a year.

“Saving the reef is a huge task, but there is hope. We are proud to be doing our part to bring together people and science to deliver outcomes that will preserve the reef in the face of growing threats.”

The Reef Trust Partnership’s significant investment to protect the reef will also provide economic support to regional communities as they continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.

The Australian and Queensland governments have committed $2.7 billion to the Great Barrier Reef under the Reef 2050 Plan. The Reef Trust Partnership is part of the Australian Government’s $1.9 billion investment in the Great Barrier Reef.

To read the 2020/21 Annual Work Plan visit: https://www.barrierreef.org/what-we-do/reef-trust-partnership/reef-trust-partnership-plans-and-strategies

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