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Great Barrier Reef to get $60m rescue package from government

Helen Davidson reports in The Guardian (22.1.18) on the federal government’s announcement that it will spend $36.6m on ‘supporting farmers stopping runoff’ to improve water quality around the Great Barrier Reef.

‘Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $60m rescue package for the Great Barrier Reef which includes research on developing “resilient” coral, and paying farmers to pollute less.

‘The package, to be spent over 18 months, will also include an increased number of reef officers and vessels targeting crown of thorns starfish outbreaks.

‘More than half the package, $36.6m, will be spent on “supporting farmers stopping runoff off their properties” in order to improve water quality, the prime minister said.

‘Turnbull said there was a “very strong link” between water pollution and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks.

‘… Greenpeace Australia Pacific described the funding for farmers as “tinkering around the edges” without addressing the bigger issues threatening the reef.

‘“Coal-fuelled climate change is killing the reef, but instead of phasing out fossil fuels and pulling support for Adani’s Carmichael mine, the PM and Josh Frydenberg are again just dealing with symptoms of the problem,” said the organisation’s climate and energy campaigner, Dr Nikola Casule.’

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