The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Andrew Powell MP

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection

Reef Trust Discussion Paper released

Joint media release
23 April 2014

The Reef Trust Discussion Paper has today been released by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments.

The Reef Trust is a key election commitment for the Australian Government under the broader Reef 2050 Plan.

The Reef Trust will put the focus firmly on improving coastal habitat, water quality and enhancing species protection along the Great Barrier Reef and will be jointly coordinated by the Australian and Queensland Governments, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with advice from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

The Reef Trust will be a targeted investment in the long-term sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef and will identify, prioritise and coordinate investments to enhance the health of the Reef.

An initial $40 million investment will be made by the Commonwealth Government to the Reef Trust.
In releasing the Reef Trust Discussion Paper, Australia Government Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, said both Governments considered it vitally important to involve the community in this stage of the development of the Trust.

“We want to start a conversation with the community about what they think the future direction of government investment along the Reef should be and how we can work together to ensure its long-term sustainability,” Mr Hunt said.

Queensland Environment Minister, Andrew Powell, said today marked an important milestone in the establishment of Reef Trust and called on Queenslanders to have their say on how the Reef Trust should be designed and the best ways for both Governments to prioritise and allocate funding investment.

"We know Queenslanders are passionate about the Reef  and want to see it protected now and in the future," Mr Powell said.

“By pooling investments and applying these funds more strategically based on the latest scientific information, we can collectively start to deliver the transformational change needed to improve reef health over the long term."

“The Reef Trust Discussion Paper outlines some initial thinking about the Trust and how it can be established to invest in really good quality projects that deliver results. Now we want to hear from the broader community about how you think the Trust should be designed and operated.”
The Reef Trust will include:

  • Support for the control of the crown-of-thorns starfish
  • A Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan to provide greater protection of marine turtles and dugongs, including support for:
    • marine debris cleanup activities
    • the Cairns and Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centres a Specialised Indigenous Ranger Programme for marine conservation and for strengthened enforcement and compliance
    • an Australian Crime Commission investigation into the practice of illegal killing, poaching and transportation of turtle and dugong meat.

Minister Hunt said Australians can be proud of our achievements to date in protecting the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area but stressed there is always more that can be done.

“We are confident that we have the appropriate processes, resources and environmental protection mechanisms in place to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef continues to be among the best managed and protected World Heritage areas in the world.”

“Protection for the Great Barrier Reef is an ongoing challenge and the Reef Trust will play a pivotal role in targeting key areas of need.”

Download a copy of the Reef Trust Discussion Paper at www.environment.gov.au and email comments to reef2050@environment.gov.au by 21 May 2014.

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