Australia: Governments Introduce Reef Trust Discussion Paper

The Reef Trust Discussion Paper has been released yesterday by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.

The Reef Trust is a key election commitment for the Australian Government under the broader Reef 2050 Plan.

The Reef Trust will put the focus firmly on improving coastal habitat, water quality and enhancing species protection along the Great Barrier Reef and will be jointly coordinated by the Australian and Queensland Governments, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with advice from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The Reef Trust will be a targeted investment in the long-term sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef and will identify, prioritise and coordinate investments to enhance the health of the Reef.

An initial $40 million investment will be made by the Commonwealth Government to the Reef Trust.

In releasing the Reef Trust Discussion Paper, Australia Government Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said both Governments considered it vitally important to involve the community in this stage of the development of the Trust.

“We want to start a conversation with the community about what they think the future direction of government investment along the Reef should be and how we can work together to ensure its long-term sustainability,” Mr Hunt said.

Queensland Environment Minister, Andrew Powell, said that this day marked an important milestone in the establishment of Reef Trust and called on Queenslanders to have their say on how the Reef Trust should be designed and the best ways for both Governments to prioritise and allocate funding investment.

“We know Queenslanders are passionate about the Reef and want to see it protected now and in the future,” Mr Powell said.

“By pooling investments and applying these funds more strategically based on the latest scientific information, we can collectively start to deliver the transformational change needed to improve reef health over the long term.”

Press Release, April 24, 2014

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