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

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $60m rescue package for the Great Barrier Reef

The techniques are basically to build swales and ditches and, you know, plantings to slow down the runoff, so that all of the fertilisers and nutrients don’t get into the river and therefore into the reef,” he said.

The announcement appears to be on top of $50m announced in April 2016, also to help farmers reduce runoff and pollution.

That funding, phase three of the federal government’s Reef Trust, allocated $19.3m to support cane farmers “to move beyond industry best practice for nutrient, irrigation, pesticide and soil management”, $23.7m to “improve grazing land management”, and “$7.1m to maintain water quality improvement momentum” in reef catchment area industries.

The government said the funds would kickstart a major research and development program for coral restoration.

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.

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