Contributed by Adam Carlton
The Turnbull government’s $60 million grant for the health of the Great Barrier Reef has been widely dismissed as a stunt to gain a bit of lost credibility
Both environmentalists and scientists have said that it is insufficient and a waste of money.horns starfish and the rest to reduce runoff from nearby farming
The Reef is suffering from over population of the Crown of Thorns star fish, which eats the reef’s polyps. What the government seems to miss is that this is related to both pollution and the warming of the water brought about by climate change.
This is what is putting large parts of the Great Barrier Reef under prolonged stress and a publicity stunt will not reverse this.
Jon Brodie, a Professorial Fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said the funding would likely make little difference particularly if spent on programs already shown to be ineffective.
He said these included crown-of-thorns efforts that appear to have minimal impact on numbers despite removing 500,000 starfish, and whose full results were not being made public . This was reported last week in the media.
Dr Jon Brodie says that $1 billion in funding is needed over the next 10 years.
World Wildlife Fund has called for the government to commit $475 million a year for the next four years to improve water quality in key Great Barrier Reef catchments.
“The funding announced today won’t get us to the water quality targets we promised UNESCO” to maintain the World Heritage status of the reef, Sean Hoobin, WWF-Australia spokesman said.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) haves welcomed the funding boost but said the biggest problem the Reef faces was climate change, any mention of which was conspicuously absent from the Government’s announcement.
“These methods will need to go hand in hand with greenhouse gas mitigation and conventional management” such as no-fish zones, said Paul Hardisty, AIMS CEO.
The negative response is growing. Decisive and urgent action is needed, of the Great Barrier Reef is going to be saved. The situation is so obvious that very few people will now come pout and openly disagree. The Turnbull government deserves to be condemned for doing too little and Australia must insist on much better and hold the government to account for its culpability.