Media Release ·

Record investment in the Great Barrier Reef to drive jobs

Record investment in the Great Barrier Reef to drive jobs

#Australian Government Media Release

The Australian Government will protect thousands of jobs, improve water quality, tackle coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and implement scientific reef restoration on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef is a critical national asset providing $6.4 billion a year to the Queensland and Australian economies.

The Australian Government will invest more than $500 million - the largest ever single investment - to protect the reef, secure its viability and the 64,000 jobs that rely on the Reef.

The Australian Government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation through a ground-breaking $444 million agreement to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution into the Reef and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

We want to ensure the Reef’s future for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of the Environment and Energy will also be boosted with $56 million to expand environmental management and compliance operations on the Reef and to support this significant additional investment in the Reef.

The Authority’s future funding has also been secured with an additional $10 million each year from 2022-23 to continue and expand essential work across the World Heritage Area.

The investment, made in this International Year of the Reef, will also go towards inspiring Australians, philanthropists and companies to co-invest in a united effort to protect the Reef, the planet’s greatest living wonder.

It is an investment not only in the future of the Great Barrier Reef, but also in Australian jobs and our economy through the tourists the Reef attracts every year.

Like reefs all over the world, the Great Barrier Reef is under pressure. A big challenge demands a big investment – and this investment gives our Reef the best chance.

It builds on and directly supports the intensive work already underway through the joint $2 billion Australian and Queensland Governments’ Reef 2050 Plan.

Our reef restoration science and expertise will be shared internationally to help with reef protection around the world, particularly with our Pacific neighbours.

As a highly respected philanthropic organisation, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has a strong fundraising track record, and will seek corporate contributions to further enhance this work.

This Great Barrier Reef Foundation partnership includes:

  • $201 million further improving water quality with changed farming practices such as reduced fertiliser use, and adopting new technologies and land management practices.
  • $100 million harnessing the best science to implement reef restoration and funding science that supports Reef resilience and adaptation.
  • $58 million expanding the fight against the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.
  • $45 million supporting other work, particularly increasing community engagement such as Indigenous traditional knowledge for sea country management, coastal clean-up days and awareness raising activities.
  • $40 million enhancing Reef health monitoring and reporting to track progress and inform better management.

This unprecedented investment reinforces the environmental, economic, social and cultural importance of the Great Barrier Reef, and that there is a role for everyone in protecting it for generations to come.

#Media resources available following announcement

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Chair Dr John Schubert, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Environment Minister Melissa Price with two Reef Guardian school children at the announcement in Cairns

Media contact: Louise Sturgess 0409 352 493 |