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Great Barrier Reef gets $1 billion funding to save it from endangered list

$1 billion in new funding to protect the Great Barrier Reef will "back in" scientists to help preserve the natural wonder against climate change and growing environmental threats, according to PM Scott Morrison.

$1 billion in new funding to protect the Great Barrier Reef will “back in” scientists to help preserve the natural wonder against climate change and growing environmental threats, according to PM Scott Morrison.

The federal government will spend $1 billion over the next nine years to help manage the reef after the Commonwealth successfully lobbied UNESCO to delay a decision listing the site as “in danger”.

Of the $1 billion funding, almost $580 million will go towards working with land managers to remediate erosion and improve land condition, while more than $250 million will be spent reducing threats from crown of thorns starfish and prevent illegal fishing.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding would help to keep the Great Barrier Reef off endangered lists.

“The reef is one of the great natural wonders not only of Australia, but the world, but it’s also an important livelihood for everybody up in far north Queensland,” he told radio station 4BC on Friday.

“We’ve been able to ensure that the reef not only remains protected, despite the many environmental challenges to the reef, but to ensure that its status has been able to be preserved.”

The $1 billion funding will also provide $92 million for research to make the reef more resilient and boost adaptation strategies.

Dreamtime Reef and Snorkel, Cairns
Dreamtime Reef and Snorkel, Cairns

Traditional owners and community groups will receive $74 million for projects to deal with species protection, habitat restoration and citizen science.

Mr Morrison said the money was targeted to ensure it has a great impact in protecting the reef.

“There’s a lot of work going on up there, and we’ve got the best reef scientists in the world and we’ve got the best reef managers in the world,” he said.

“What we’re doing is we’re backing them in to ensure that they can do best possible job.”

The funding comes after the federal government lobbied UNESCO to delay a decision about listing the reef as “in danger” until 2023.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the money would help protect the more than 64,000 jobs in Queensland that rely on the Great Barrier Reef.

Source: AAP