Greens say Reef needs more money
The Queensland Government has been accused of applying a band-aid to the Great Barrier Reef.
The Government has been celebrating what it calls a “record environment budget”, spending big on the Great Barrier Reef, Indigenous land and sea rangers, national parks, climate change and tackling waste.
$175 million has been allocated over five years for Great Barrier Reef water quality programs to reduce sediment and nutrient run off across the reef catchments.
Queensland Greens spokesperson Michael Berkman said the fact that the Government was not moving to curb land clearing meant the efforts to help the reef could be for nothing.
“It's nice to see increases in spending on the environment but they just don't go far enough,” Mr Berkman said.
“We can do all we like to improve water quality but if we don't address climate change then the Reef has very little chance of surviving into the next century.”
The budget includes $15 million over three years for managing the risks of climate change.
“Allocating an additional $15 million to climate change is like giving somebody with internal bleeding a band-aid and saying they'll be all right,” Mr Berkman said.
The Queensland Government's own Water Science Taskforce last year found fixing the reef’s water quality issues would cost about $8.2 billion.
The budget also includes $2.5 million for a container deposit scheme, as well as a ban on plastic bags, pending the passage of legislation.
$40 million has been allocated for a revitalisation of national parklands, as well as $20 million for improving environmental regulatory services.
The Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers Program will receive a funding boost to hire an extra 25 full-time workers.