Australia to spend A$1bn (£520m) improving the water quality of the ailing Great Barrier Reef

Australia will spend a further A$1bn (£520m; $700m) on protecting the Great Barrier Reef, the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

The money will be spent on new climate adaptation technology and improving the water quality.

Under threat from global warming, the reef was almost listed as an endangered World Heritage Site by the United Nations last year.

Additional funding in the next nine years will add to the existing A$2 billion package designed to protect the reef from environmental threats in the next three decades, the Prime Minister said.

“We are backing the health of the reef and the economic future of tourism operators, hospitality providers and Queensland communities that are at the heart of the reef economy,” he said in a statement.

Morrison said the huge investment will help protect about 64,000 jobs in Queensland that depend on the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its coral over three decades.

Marine heatwaves triggered three major bleaching events in the past five years.

One of Australia’s best-known natural attractions, it is made up of more than 3,000 individual reefs stretching for 2,300 km (1,430 miles).

World Wide Fund for Nature but Greenpeace welcomed the plan saying it was “astounding” to see the government allocating more money while ignoring climate change.


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