The Australian Government is investing half a billion dollars in building the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. At the centre of this investment is a new $444 million partnership with the Foundation.
I was honoured to represent the Foundation at today’s funding announcement in Cairns with Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, alongside Assistant Minister for the Environment Melissa Price, Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, Independent Expert Panel Chair Professor Ian Chubb, Reef 2050 Advisory Committee Chair Penelope Wensley and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chair and CEO Dr Russell Reichelt.
I am thrilled to share this great news for the Reef with our wonderful Foundation supporters.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation welcomes this announcement of the biggest single investment in a coral reef ecosystem anywhere in the world.
Today’s investment brings real hope to the Great Barrier Reef.
There is no doubt that our great living treasure is under enormous threat from climate change and we must all work together to do everything possible to achieve the Paris Agreement.
But while the world works to tackle climate change on a global scale, there are many things we can and must do to build the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef right now.
We must improve water quality. We must address crown-of-thorns-starfish outbreaks. We must ensure our reef managers and scientists are better equipped to manage and monitor our reefs, working smarter than ever before. And we must unlock new scientific insights that can help restore the reefs that have suffered damage.
Today’s major investment brings real solutions within our grasp. These funds represent an unequalled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is honoured to be entrusted with this investment. We know we carry with us the hearts and minds of every Australian who wants to save the Great Barrier Reef.
We look forward to working with our conservation partners, our partners across tourism, science, fishing and farming, and with traditional owners and communities along the length of the Reef to ensure this money makes a difference.
Over the coming years, we also hope to leverage this government investment further through corporate partnerships, community fundraising and the like. While governments, scientists and reef managers work on the frontline of this battle, every one of us has a role to play if we are to ultimately succeed.
We live in an age of great challenges, but it is equally a time of great opportunity. Great minds, technological wonders and passionate people are working through the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef.
I have great optimism that together we will protect this amazing icon and all its brilliant biodiversity.