$124 mi Reef Authority Funding Boost for Townsville
Australia’s lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef will receive a $124 million funding boost over the next 10 years from the Turnbull Government.
The funding commitment for the Townsville-based Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is great news for the North Queensland region and Townsville, and follows the signing of Australia’s first City Deal for Townsville earlier this month.
Frydenberg said the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which has been managing this acclaimed World Heritage Area for more than 40 years, will receive an additional $34.1 million over four years from 2016-17, and $15 million each year from 2020-21.
“The funding will enhance the Authority's delivery of programs critical to the ongoing protection of the Great Barrier Reef, which supports more than 60,000 jobs,” Frydenberg said.
“It strengthens the Marine Park Authority’s budget in the long-term and demonstrates the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.”
“The funding is over and above the $2 billion being spent by the Australian and Queensland governments to improve the health of the Reef. It includes $6 million for a ‘Southern Reef Ranger’ patrol boat to assist in detecting illegal fishing and another $6 million to support a second vessel to help tackle the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, critical to supporting coral recovery after bleaching last summer.”
In Townsville on Tuesday, Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor said the funds would also support the operation of the Marine Park Authority’s award winning National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef, ReefHQ Aquarium.
“The Aquarium is a popular tourist destination and recognised nationally and internationally as a centre of excellence in environmental education. It’s great to be here today with Acting Authority Chair Bruce Elliot as we implement our commitments to secure the long term health of the Reef,” Mr Taylor said.
As well as providing technical and policy advice, the Marine Park Authority undertakes day-to-day management of this iconic natural treasure, including enforcement of the zoning plan and on-water activities to maximise Reef resilience. The Authority also plays a key role in implementing the Reef 2050 Plan.