3/03/2017

New investment to improve reef health

The Coalition Government will invest close to $10 million for two new projects to help cane farmers at Maryborough, Mareeba, Innisfail and Cairns implement new practices to improve the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said the Coalition would contribute $4.5 million as part of Reef Trust Phase V, to support an estimated $12.8 million investment by the sugarcane industry to improve on-farm nutrient management which will enhance the quality of water e­­­­­ntering the Reef.

“The Project Uplift Farming Systems Initiative will be led by sugar milling company MSF Sugar and will assist 36 farming groups in and around Maryborough, Mareeba, Innisfail and Cairns to transition to more efficient farming systems,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is a new and innovative approach put forward by the sugar-cane industry and we are very enthusiastic about its potential application across coastal sugar farming in Reef catchments.”

Mr O’Brien said the Coalition Government is also providing $5 million to help restore priority wetlands along coastal areas of the Reef with the funding to be match by Greening Australia.

“This money will be used to assist in the restoration and repair of 700 hectares of priority wetlands along the Reef’s coast,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These new projects complement existing efforts and demonstrate how private investment can work effectively alongside public funding.

“By working together we can help addresses the threats and pressures faced by the Reef in a more effect manner.”

In collaboration with partner organisations, these projects will deliver around $27 million in new investments for the Reef.

The funding boost is part of a $2 billion investment over the next ten years by the Australian and Queensland Governments as we work towards full implementation of the Reef 2050 Plan.

The Coalition Government has committed a total of $210 million to the Reef Trust.