Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a $63.6 million investment in science and research infrastructure to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The news comes a week after reports of the Great Barrier Reef undergoing a severe bleaching event. Coral bleaching is mainly how we observe climate change in the Great Barrier Reef, with corals and reef life losing colour, dying and looking bleached, as if you were bleaching hair. This is caused by higher temperatures, low tides, too much sunlight and pollution.
So, what will solve the Great Barrier Reef bleaching crisis, a reef put at risk by dredging, mining and the prevalence of container ships? Money for further research, apparently.
This fund is comprised of two components:
- $26.5 million to “remediate” the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) Cape Cleveland wharf, $1.5 million of which going toward wharf maintenance
- $37.1 million distributed over three years to increase AIMS’ ability to research marine science and preserve ocean life (this includes $5.3 million towards a replacement research vessel for AIMS).
“This investment will allow our marine scientists to take their research to the next level, and continue to work alongside other scientists, farmers, traditional owners, local communities and tourism operators in our shared endeavour to understand and protect our iconic Great Barrier Reef,” says Morrison.
“The remediation of Cape Cleveland wharf will mean scientists can access the research vessels directly from the AIMS site, rather than having to board up in Townsville. It also means that after research trips scientists can seamlessly unload sensitive scientific research samples, including coral, rapidly from the reef to the aquarium complex.”
“The wharf is critical to delivering AIMS’ science activities, including important government priorities like the Reef 2050 Plan,” added Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price.
“These initiatives will support the critical science and research of AIMS that helps Australia manage threats to the health and future of the Great Barrier Reef.”
In the lead-up to the 2022 Federal Election it looks like climate initiatives will play a major role in campaigning.
Stay tuned for more announcements like this as we approach Budget night (March 29).