Australia announces record investment in Great Barrier Reef

The package will help develop coral that is more resistant to high temperatures and light stress

Australia says its $379 million investment is the largest ever single investment to protect the reef.

She said the government needed to commit to a credible science-based plan to tackle climate change.

Canberra insists it is taking strong action to address the global threat of climate change, having set an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, said he was "thrilled" by the announcement. As Newsy previously reported, climate change is making the oceans less hospitable for coral, and the Great Barrier Reef is showing signs of dying.

"Today's investment brings real hope to the Great Barrier Reef", Dr Schubert said.

A 2017 survey found coral mortality varied from the northern to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from space, covers 348,000sq/km and was world heritage listed in 1981 as the most extensive and spectacular coral reef ecosystem on the planet, according to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) website. Crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for nearly half of this decline.

"We must improve water quality".

"Today's major investment brings real solutions within our grasp".

"I have great optimism that together we will protect this awesome icon and all its brilliant biodiversity". The remaining $40 million will be used to monitor reef health.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will on Sunday commit $201 million to changing farming practices to improve water quality, $100 million for reef restoration research and $58 million to fight coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish linked to agricultural ocean run-offs.

The new funding comes after Deloitte Access Economics valued the reef last year at A$56 billion, based on an asset supporting tens of thousands of jobs and which contributes A$6.4 billion a year to the economy.

In 2016, Labor also pledged $500 million of funding over five years towards the Reef if elected.

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