Australia pledges A$500 million to restore Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef to get to $500m to tackle pollution and breed more resilient coral

Australia's chief scientist is congratulating the federal government on its promise to improve the quality of the Great Barrier Reef.

The funding includes measures to improve water quality by encouraging better farming practices, scientific research towards reef restoration and building more resilient coral by tackling the coral-eating corn of thorns starfish.

The funding will be confirmed in the May budget, according to the newspaper.

The world's largest coral reef, spanning 133,000 square miles, has endured extreme environmental strain in recent years, to the point that a fake obituary that was written for it in 2016 went viral.

Although some fear that much of the damage can not be undone, John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, believes that the government's attention gives the reef "real hope".

Conservationists said while the funding was "an important step", the biggest threat to the reef was global warming and not enough was being done to combat it by embracing clean energy.

"We must improve water quality".

While the world worked on a plan to tackle climate change, these were practical measures to build the Reef's resilience, Chairman John Schubert said.

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However, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Australia was a world leader in managing and protecting its reef, as the government's Reef 2050 plan had been approved by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as being the standard for the rest of the world to follow.

Frydenberg said he believed that the reef could overcome its many challenges with help. We must address crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

"The Turnbull 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", Frydenberg said. The remaining $40 million will be used to monitor reef health.

Earlier this month, scientists said the site suffered a "catastrophic die-off" of coral during an extended heatwave in 2016, threatening a broader range of reef life than previously feared.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is the largest living structure on the planet.

"These funds represent an unequaled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations".

The reef is a critical national asset, contributing A$6.4 billion (RM19 billion) a year to the Australian economy.

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