Cyclone recovery funding for the Great Barrier Reef
Published Thursday, 29 March, 2018 at 05:27 PM
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, The Hon. Angus Taylor MP
Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick MP
More than $24 million in joint funding from the Commonwealth and Queensland governments is now available for the environmental recovery of areas impacted by Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie, including the Great Barrier Reef.
The funding is part of a $35 million environmental recovery package under the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who has Commonwealth responsibility for disaster recovery, said the work was vitally important to address the environmental impacts of STC Debbie.
"Given the extraordinary nature of STC Debbie, the Commonwealth has committed this funding to help with green waste clean-up, revegetation, and work to address coastal erosion," Mr Taylor said.
"The funding highlights the importance of the recovery and recognises the vital part Queensland’s unique environment plays in the Queensland and Australian tourism markets."
Minister for State Development and Minister responsible for Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Cameron Dick said the environmental recovery package was being delivered by QRA and the Department of Environment and Science (DES).
"The package is for coastal works, recreational assets and green waste, riparian recovery and weed control, debris removal from waterways, gully and streambank stabilisation, and mapping and data collection activities," Mr Dick said.
"To date, QRA has approved 31 projects from 12 councils at a cost of $9.3 million for green waste and coastal works, while DES has approved 88 projects coordinated by seven Natural Resource Management groups at a cost of $15.5 million.
"Approved projects include Lamberts, Cape Hillsborough and Armstrong Beaches in Mackay and green waste clean-up in the Whitsundays, as well as extensive earth works and revegetation to stabilise riparian zones and address bank erosion within the Great Barrier Reef and South East Queensland catchments."
Minister for Environment and Science Leeanne Enoch said the work will complement existing projects DES is undertaking to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients flowing to sensitive environments, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Bay.
"The key environmental recovery project in the Lower Fitzroy Basin will deliver a major benefit to the Great Barrier Reef," Ms Enoch said.
"For an investment of approximately $1.8 million, the project will see a reduction of 570,000 tonnes of sediment entering local waterways.
"Similarly, the SEQ projects have a dual focus to result in less sediment and nutrients entering Moreton Bay."
The Natural Resource Management groups will deliver projects through engagement with local councils, River Improvement Trusts, landholders and other relevant organisations.
Submission and approval for the remaining $12 million of the Environmental Recovery Package is continuing.
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster management website at disaster.qld.gov.au.
Alicja Rudz 0481 907 178 (Minister Taylor)
Anika Hume 0447 320 039 (Minister Dick)