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Australia : Palaszczuk Government commits funding for $4 million project to help improve reef water quality.

The Palaszczuk Government today (Tuesday) signed an agreement to provide $2 million in matched funding to Greening Australia over the next four years from its newly established Great Barrier Reef Innovation Fund to trial innovative approaches to gully remediation.

Announcing the Greening Australia partnership in Brisbane, the Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles said the partnership was one of a number of initiatives funded under the governments Reef Innovation Fund aimed at harnessing new ideas to tackle the big reef issues.

Fine sediment from gully erosion is one of the biggest threats to reef water quality with sediment from the Burdekin region contributing disproportionately to sediment run-off into the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Miles said.

A recent study put the cost of remedying sediment run-off in the billions of dollars.

The Palaszczuk Government also announced in June the $7 million purchase of Springvale Station on Cape York to boost efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and the Greening Australia matched funding project follows a similar commitment by the government to provide $3 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation over three years to boost the resilience of the reef.

Dr Miles said this new matched funding agreement would build on the existing research, initiatives and gully remediation work being undertaken by Greening Australia.

He said innovative gully repair techniques would also be trialled that have the potential to reduce costs down.

Greening Australia CEO, Mr Brendan Foran welcomed the investment to trial new cost-effective techniques that had the potential to significantly increase the uptake of this type of work in the future.

Weve been working in gully remediation for many years and we know this work can cost many millions of dollars, particularly at the scale were looking at in the Burdekin, Mr Foran said.

The project funding is developed as a matched fund model. The Queensland Government will match private funds dollar for dollar up to $2 million for this project, making it a $4 million project.

Today, we are happy to announce that we have secured the first $500,000 for the project from philanthropists, David and Sallie Prior.

David Prior said he hoped their contribution would encourage others to support Greening Australias exceptional leadership.

The match fund model enables us to invest as partners with Government and the business community at the scale and impact required to improve reef water quality, he said.

The Great Barrier Reef Innovation Fund was established as part of the Queensland Governments response to the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 19, 2016
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