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May 18, 2021

PM to give $60m to save Great Barrier Reef

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is to unveil a multi-million-dollar plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef against mass bleaching.

The plan, to cost about $60 million over the next 18 months, will include funding farmers to reduce sediment run-off and innovative research, The Courier-Mail says.

Mr Turnbull is expected to announce the plan in Townsville on Monday, supported by leading scientists.

Last week, the federal and Queensland governments issued an open call to the world’s top scientific minds to help save the reef.

The governments have launched a $2 million challenge to find novel ways to restore reefs and lift coral abundance.

“This is an open invitation to our greatest scientific minds, industry and business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions which will protect corals and encourage the recovery of damaged reefs,” said Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

“The reef is the planet’s greatest living wonder. The scale of the problem is big and big thinking is needed, but it’s important to remember that solutions can come from anywhere.”

The Great Barrier Reef is still reeling from back-to-back coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, while authorities are also dealing with a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak in southern parts of the reef.


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