A commitment of $58 million from the Reef Trust spearheads a suite of measures by the Australian Government to continue to build the health and resilience of the iconic Great Barrier Reef.
“This new commitment of $58 million between 2015 and 2019 brings the Australian Government’s total investment through the Reef Trust to $91.3 million,” said Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
“This third phase of investment will help farmers and land owners – who are working hard to improve their land management practices – to reduce the runoff of key Reef pollutants into the Great Barrier Reef catchment and boost the resilience of the reef.
“It’s great to see the government working with farmers, graziers and cane growers to improve their efficiency and to help the reef.”
The $56 million, announced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt on ‘Oceans Day’ at the Paris Climate Summit, will be invested in projects focusing on:
Supporting cane farmers to move beyond industry best practice
This investment will provide support for cane farmers to move to, and in some cases, beyond industry best-practice for nutrient, irrigation, pesticide and soil management.
Reducing erosion losses from rangelands grazing
This investment will provide one-on-one training and support to graziers to implement high priority actions with a focus on improving herd management, forage budgeting, setting and adaptively managing stocking rates and improving ground cover. Financial support may also be provided to eligible graziers for on-ground projects such as protection and remediation of erosion hotspots.
Maintaining water quality improvement momentum in grains, dairy and horticulture
This investment will provide training and support to land managers, including for delivery of soil and nutrient management plans. Financial support will also be provided to landowners for high-priority water quality improvement practices such as improved nutrient use and irrigation efficiency, and minimising stock access to waterways.
In partnership with the NGO sector, the Reef Trust will deliver a project to restore and repair priority wetlands and coastal ecosystems along the Great Barrier Reef.
The project will be delivered by Greening Australia in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia, WetlandCare Australia and BirdLife Australia.
The Australian Government will provide up to $2 million in funding, to match dollar-for-dollar funds raised by Greening Australia and its partners from private donors.
To continue to build on the opportunities for partnerships and private investment, Minister Hunt also announced the establishment of the Reef Trust Innovative Financial Mechanisms Panel.
This panel will provide a forum for experts from leading financial organisations to provide expert advice and evaluate a range of conservation financing mechanisms which could be piloted for the Great Barrier Reef.
Reef Trust investments are based on the best available science. Investments are considered by the Reef 2050 Plan Independent Expert Panel, chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist, and have been developed in consultation with key experts and scientists.
“Investments will complement the extensive efforts across both the Australian and Queensland governments, natural resource management organisations, industry and research organisations to deliver cost-effective, strategic on-ground change to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef is protected for this and future generations to enjoy,” said Minister Hunt.
“By focusing on managing the biggest pressures, we can boost the resilience of the reef and help it to respond to the impacts of climate change”.
Further information on the Reef Trust can be found at www.environment.gov.au/marine/gbr/reef-trust