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$500 million for the Great Barrier Reef is welcome, but we need a sea change in tactics too

Jon Brodie writes in The Conversation (3.5.18) that the federal government's new $500 million funding package for the Great Barrier Reef seems predominantly focused on the tactics that are already being tried, without much success.

'The federal government’s announcement of more than A$500 million in funding for the Great Barrier Reef is good news. It appears to show a significant commitment to the reef’s preservation – something that has been lacking in recent years.

'A spokesperson for federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg said the funding would be available immediately to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and that there was no predetermined time frame for the spending.

'But one concern with the package is that it seems to give greatest weight to the strategies that are already being tried – and which have so far fallen a long way short of success.

'... While reef restoration may be significant for the long-term (decades to centuries) status of the GBR, it is hard to believe that these studies will help within the coming few decades. And even long-term success will hinge either on our ability to stabilise the climate, or on science’s ability to keep pace with the rate of future change.

'In the meantime, reef restoration seems at best to be a band-aid that could preserve select tourism sites, but is inconceivable on the scale of the entire GBR.'

 

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