Joint media release: $200 million to improve water quality on the reef

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Senator Nita Green, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef 

The Albanese Government today announced an extra $50 million to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef, bringing our total investment to $200 million for the new Landscape Repair Program.

Poor water quality is one of the most significant threats to a healthy Reef. Poor quality run-off from eroded gullies and riverbanks flows into nearby catchments and causes higher algal growth, higher concentrations of pollutants, and reduced light.

This not only affects seagrasses, mangroves and other species that live on the Reef, it compromises the Reef’s resilience to threats like climate change. 

This $200 million investment will support landowners, Traditional Owners and environment groups to carry out projects to repair land in Reef catchments that stop nearby erosion, support revegetation and manage the impact of grazing. 

As well as improving water quality, these projects will also restore native habitats and increase carbon sequestration, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The Federal and Queensland Labor Governments are working together to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef and have together committed $1 billion for projects to improve water quality across Reef catchments.  

We know that the impacts of poor water quality become even greater in summer leading to potential coral bleaching. With a hot summer arriving, the Government is preparing to monitor and protect the Reef.

This week, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will convene a workshop with marine and climate experts, Traditional Owners and industry to evaluate the summer outlook and discuss a coordinated response, if required. 

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

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

“But the Reef and the water that flows through it is under threat from sediment and other run-off. Poor water quality stops coral from regrowing, it kills important seagrass, and it blocks the sunlight needed for a healthy reef.

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

“This is part of our record investment of $1.2 billion to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef. We want to make sure the beauty and majesty of the Reef can be enjoyed for future generations.”

Quotes attributable to the Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator Nita Green:

“This additional $50 million of funding means our Government is making the largest investment in improving water quality of the Great Barrier Reef, a key determinant of its resilience.

 “It will help future-proof the Great Barrier Reef and the 64,000 jobs it supports.

“This funding boost also means opportunities for a range of groups across regional Queensland to contribute to Reef protection – Traditional Owners, conservation and NRM organisations, scientists and landholders.

“I am excited continuing to work with them to deliver this record $200 million Reef investment. Because when we protect the Reef, we protect our future.”