Land project funds hoped to keep reef from 'in danger' list

LAST-MINUTE FUNDING: New money to preserve the Barrier Reef’s heritage listing.
LAST-MINUTE FUNDING: New money to preserve the Barrier Reef’s heritage listing.

PROJECTS to control erosion and sediment run-off into the Great Barrier Reef and battle the crown-of-thorns starfish will be funded this year.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said another $15 million of the $140 million Reef Trust has been allocated to projects around Queensland.

Among them were fencing and remediating riparian zones, a tender to reduce fertiliser run-off from sugar cane farms, and $7 million to cull the coral-eating starfish.

The funds come as the government tries to stave off a World Heritage Committee decision that could see the reef listed as "in danger".

While Mr Hunt said the government "knows the reef retains the values for which it was listed as a World Heritage site in 1981", the latest reef Outlook report showed more than half of those values in decline.

Land managers and scientists have urged the government to increase funds by at least $1 billion to prevent the further decline of the reef, in hopes of improving the outlook for the reef.

Topics:  agriculture environment great barrier reef sediment world heritage committee

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