Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
The Honourable Steven Miles
Friday, June 26, 2015
New funding for real-time reef tools
The Palaszczuk Government is investing $2 million in a cutting-edge project that gives people real-time information about the quality of water in the Great Barrier Reef.
This extra funding will create a range of online tools for people to check the health of the reef, including water quality, sea temperature and the effects of floods and storms.
The funding is part of a $3 million investment over three years to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Dr Steven Miles, Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef said people will be able to access comprehensive information about the reef on their laptop, tablet or mobile.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government was elected with a clear mandate to protect our Great Barrier Reef, not just because it’s our greatest natural asset, but it generates employment for around 60,000 people,” Dr Miles said.
“Now, for the first time ever, Queenslanders and people from across the globe will be able to see changes in the conditions on the reef in real-time.
“People will be able to track the effects of storms, cyclones and floods on water quality, as they happen.
“They’ll also be able to zoom in on their local river to see how much sediment, nutrients and pesticides are flowing into the reef.
“The project will also be an important tool for reef managers by helping us understand the actions we need to take on land to improve water quality, prevent damage from threats such as crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and build the reef’s resilience.
“This initiative has been about working together for the future of the reef, with investment from the Queensland Government, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, the Science and Industry Endowment Fund, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and the Australian Government.”
eReefs Project Board Independent Chair John Schubert said the overall $3 million contribution leveraged the $11 million investment made by the Australian Government and the private sector in the eReefs project.
“It will enable unprecedented strategies to measure and report on the impact of land-based activities on water quality across the whole Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Schubert said.
The announcement came ahead of Dr Miles’ trip to Bonn, Germany next week for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting which will consider the draft decision to not list the Great Barrier Reef “in danger”.
“UNESCO has already recognised our increased commitment to protecting the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Miles said. “This additional investment in the eReefs project clearly demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibility to conserve the reef for future generations to enjoy.”
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