11 July 2011
Joint media release
Senator Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon. Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
The Hon. Mike Kelly AM MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Gillard Government will invest an additional $38 million in initiatives designed to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
Reef Rescue is a multi–million dollar, five year program designed to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon to better manage the impacts of climate change.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig, Environment Minister, Tony Burke, and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Dr Mike Kelly, today announced funding for water quality grants and partnerships as part of the Reef Rescue program under Caring for our Country.
“This brings the total Australian Government investment in this component of Reef Rescue to $158 million,” Minister Ludwig said.
“More than 2000 land managers have received water quality grants to date, enabling an additional 1.2 million hectares of land in the reef catchment to be farmed using improved land management practices.
“From 2011–2013, an additional 2300 land managers will receive water quality grants and partnerships funding to help improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
““This is in addition to the more than 3600 farmers and pastoralists already engaged in farm planning and risk assessment activities, and who have received training in nutrient, pesticide and groundcover management since the initiative began in 2008.”
Minister Burke said that by 2013 Reef Rescue aims to reduce nutrient and chemical run–off from agricultural lands by 25 per cent and sediment and particulate nutrient run–off by 10 per cent.
“Reef Rescue supports the good work already being done by farmers and land managers to improve environmental outcomes for the Reef,” Minister Burke said.
“This funding delivers on the Gillard Government’s commitment to invest in programs that
support good environmental management and improve sustainability outcomes over the next two years.”
”This provides certainty of funding and recognises their crucial role in maximising water quality outcomes for the Reef.”
Dr Kelly said Reef Rescue water quality grants and partnerships funding was delivered through a unique partnership between the Australian Government, regional natural resource management organisations and agricultural industry peak bodies.
“These improved land management practices represent a win—win scenario, with environmental outcomes for the reef and sustainability outcomes for farmers and pastoralists,” Dr Kelly said.
Reef Rescue is a multi–million dollar, five year program that will increase the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef to the impacts of climate change by improving the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.