07 4032 1746 admin@cafnec.org.au

Real Targets and real funding for GBR water quality needed.

Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) has today responded to Labor’s announcement of $100 million increased funding over 5 years for improving reef water quality.

Xanthe_Rivett-FortheReef-9553_300 MEDIA RELEASE 14/01/2015

CAFNEC Marine Programs Coordinator Josh Coates said:

“To protect our reef scientists agree that improving water quality is highly important, and we are currently falling short of what is needed in terms of improvement. As such we are very supportive of this important announcement, which is a step in the right direction and would represent a significant improvement on the current situation.”

“We also note that this funding figure falls short of the figure science and the NRM community are telling us will be needed to meet current water quality improvement targets. Overall, early estimates are looking at over $500 million over 5 years being closer to the mark, acknowledging that a significant amount of this funding would have to come from the Federal Government.”

“Nonetheless this policy announcement is important and welcome in the context of moving toward reef protection. We now call on the LNP at least match and improve on this commitment.”

“To achieve the water quality improvement targets we need not only funding to reduce land based impacts, but also to ensure that suspension of pollutants from dredging and dumping do not undermine the progress made in the past, and future programs. Projects like the Cairns Port dredging proposal cannot be allowed to undermine good work being done by farmers and land managers.”

“Continuing to dredge and dump on our reef would make a mockery of increased funding for water quality improvement in other areas. Our natural wonder of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, deserves at least the levels of funding we see going to the repair of the Murray-Darling river system.”

Media contact: Josh Coates, Marine Programs Coordinator, (07) 4032 1586, marine [at] cafnec.org.au

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