The Environment Minister's announcement of $50 million in Reef Trust projects today is a re-announcement of existing Reef funding and is undermined by the Government's cut in 2014 of $40 million from a long-standing, water-quality program.
Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said:
"The Turnbull Government is desperately shuffling around existing Reef funding in an attempt to distract from its inadequate climate policies and continued coal mine approvals, which are cooking the Reef.
"Coral bleaching is caused by global warming, driven by mining and burning of coal. Greg Hunt approved the Southern Hemisphere's largest coal mine and the Liberal Government has a woeful record on climate policy.
"The Reef Trust funding is undermined by the Government's cuts to Reef funding, including the $40 million it cut in 2014 from the Reef Water Quality Program, a long-standing, successful program.
"On top of the $40 million cut from water quality in 2014, the government cut a total of $10 million cut from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
"So the $50 million being re-announced today only just covers this government's cuts to Reef funding.
"The Reef Natural Resources Management Groups have called for $800 million in government investment in Reef water quality over 5 years so an allocation of $50 million in existing water quality funding, after having cut $40 million, is nowhere near enough.
"The government is undermining the good work of farmers reducing runoff to the Reef by allowing the dredging at Abbot Point to worsen water quality and coal to be shipped out from the Galilee Basin to further bleach the Reef's corals.
"We have viable renewable alternatives that don't sacrifice the 67 000 jobs the Reef provides and that will generate thousands of new jobs.
"Under the Greens' transition plan, clean-energy training and employment would benefit coal workers, who are already losing their jobs due to the global transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy," Senator Waters said.