Submission to the Senate Inquiry

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the 2018-19 Budget Measure the Great Barrier Reef 2050 Partnership Program.

In April, the Marine Park Authority welcomed the Government’s announcement of an additional investment of $500 million in the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef as part of the 2018-19 Budget process.

This is the largest ever single investment in the Great Barrier Reef and comes at a time when the Reef needs it most. This investment will specifically drive progress towards Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan outcomes and targets projects that can help build the Reef’s resilience.

These include water quality improvements, crown-of-thorns starfish control and restoration and adaptation programs.

The commitment of funds by the Australian Government was also informed by the Marine Park Authority’s Reef blueprint for resilience, which outlines 10 key actions we will take with our partners to strengthen the Reef’s resilience and best protect coral reefs in the face of a changing climate.

As part of the budget policy-making process, the Marine Park Authority was part of an extensive process within the Government to identify measures to deal with the pressures affecting the Great Barrier Reef and prioritise funding needs.

This included direct involvement as the member of an interdepartmental task group established in 2017 to develop funding proposals for additional Great Barrier Reef investment.

The Marine Park Authority was not involved in the decision-making process that determined the appropriate vehicle to deliver the funds to support this budget measure.

However, the Marine Park Authority was made aware that $443.3 million would be made available from the Reef Trust to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in 2017-18 to implement key outcomes of the Reef 2050 Plan.

Also included in the funding announcement was a $42.7 million commitment to the Marine Park Authority for the expansion of the Joint Field Management Program until 2023-24 and, as part of this Budget process, the Marine Park Authority also secured funding of an additional $10.2 million each year after that to continue to expand essential work across the World Heritage Area.