Qld: $200m allocated to help Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is set for a $200m facelift from the Australian government in an effort to improve worsening water quality.

An extra $50m was added to the new Landscape Repair Program on Tuesday following an announcement by Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Poor water quality has been listed as one of the “most significant threats” to the health of the Reef, with run-off causing increased concentrations of pollutants in the water.

Ms Plibersek said the iconic crystal blue water was “under threat” from harsh sediments entering the ecosystem and extra funds would go towards repairing outlets that flow into the Reef.

“One of the most iconic things about the Great Barrier Reef is the crystal blue water,” she said.

Ms Plibersek warned run-off, which caused poor water quality, stopped coral from regrowing, killed seagrass and blocked sunlight needed for other organisms.

“This funding will repair and protect gullies, creeks and riverbanks that flow into the Reef,” she said.

The millions now invested will help support landowners, as well as traditional owners, in carrying out projects that limit erosion to catchments and the harsh impact of grazing.

Great Barrier Reef special envoy senator Nita Green said the funding would help “future-proof” the Reef and support thousands of jobs in the area.

“This funding boost also means opportunities for a range of groups across regional Queensland to contribute to Reef protection – traditional owners, conservation and NRM (Natural Resource Management) organisations, scientists and landholders,” Senator Green said.

Originally published as $200m set to be spent improving water quality around Great Barrier Reef