Australia pledges $500 mil to restore Great Barrier Reef

Australia pledges $500 mil to restore Great Barrier Reef

Australia's federal government is allotting half a billion dollars to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

The new funding comes after Deloitte Access Economics valued the reef last year at A$56 billion, based on an asset supporting tens of thousands of jobs and which contributes A$6.4 billion a year to the economy.

And the authority's future funding has also been secured with an additional $10 million each year from 2022-23 to continue and expand essential work across the World Heritage Area.

Jon Brodie, a professor at James Cook University's Coral Reef Studies Centre of Excellence said the funding was an extension of existing failed programs.

Turnbull said part of the money will be used to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but gave no details.

"We are looking at a whole range of new initiatives, taking best advice of the experts, working closely with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, to ensure that the reef has its best chance into the future".

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said the Reef's destruction could be pinned on fossil fuels.

"To simultaneously promote the world's biggest coal mine (Adani) while pretending to care about the world's largest reef is an acrobatic feat only a cynical politician would attempt".

"This is the single largest investment in reef restoration and management in Australia's history, " Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

The financial aid will go towards improving water quality on the great barrier reef, expanding reef restoration and developing coral that's more resistant to high temperatures and light stress.

"Our elected representatives can't have it both ways", she said. As Newsy previously reported, climate change is making the oceans less hospitable for coral, and the Great Barrier Reef is showing signs of dying.

The $201 million of the funding package will be allocated for improving water quality, which involves changing farming practices such as reducing fertilizer use.