Great Barrier Reef forgotten by the Federal Budget
Published Wednesday, 10 May, 2017 at 04:07 PM
Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
Environment Minister Steven Miles has blasted the Turnbull Government for ignoring the Great Barrier Reef in last night’s federal Budget.
“Our Great Barrier Reef is an international icon,” Mr Miles said.
“It supports around 69,000 jobs in tourism and contributes $5.7 billion to the Queensland and Australian economies.
“But you wouldn’t know it from the Federal Budget announcement last night.
“There was no mention of funding for environmental initiatives at all, let alone the Great Barrier Reef.
“This is despite the fact that Tropical Cyclone Debbie devastated the coral reefs at some of our tourism hot-spots and has suffered its second coral bleaching event in as many years.”
There is significant international concern for the Reef’s health with the World Heritage Committee keeping a close eye on water quality progress.
“Despite all this, the Reef didn’t warrant a mention, or any new funding,” Mr Miles said.
“Meanwhile, the Palaszczuk Government is investing record amounts in a bid to support the Reef’s resilience – on average we’re dedicating $55 million each year to improve the quality of water than runs into the Reef.
“Historically, the breakdown of investment between the federal and state governments for Reef programs was two-thirds/one-third. Now it’s 50-50.
“We are punching above our weight. Now it’s time for the Turnbull Government to step up and do its fair share to protect this global treasure.”
Media contact: Alison Brown - (07) 3719 7336 / 0477 377622