($74.4 million over 9 years 2021-22 to 2029-30)
Community and Traditional Owner on-ground Reef protection projects
($37.1 million over 8 years 2022-23 to 2029-30)
A major element of protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef is fostering stewardship and empowering people to care for the Reef through strong partnerships and collaboration. Governments, industry, land managers, scientists, Traditional Owners and the community all have a role to play in helping to protect and sustain the Reef. This collective effort is a central concept of the Reef 2050 Plan, recognising that achieving its ambitions will depend on strong collaboration and lasting partnerships.
This package of funding will help to engage local Reef communities and support local action in protecting the Reef’s Outstanding Universal Value, and will strengthen stewardship of the Reef to enhance its resilience through:
- Traditional Owner Reef protection ($12.6 million over 7 years 2023-24 to 2029-30)
- Supporting Traditional Owner on-ground catchment-based Reef protection projects, and ensuring continuity of funding from current investments under the Reef Trust Partnership.
- The Reef is an intrinsic part of culture for Traditional Owners, who continue to care for their sea country and benefit from use of the Reef’s resources and places of cultural significance.
- A key focus of the Reef 2050 Plan is to improve engagement and support opportunities for Traditional Owners in the protection of the Reef for future generations.
- We are committed to working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to improve engagement and create enduring opportunities for Traditional Owners in protection of the Reef for future generations.
- Community Reef protection ($12.5 million over 7 years 2023-24 to 2029-30)
- Implementing community on-ground catchment-based Reef protection projects targeting key habitats for Reef resilience, increasing community stewardship, and strengthening partnerships through coordinated local and regional delivery of Reef protection and restoration activities.
- Community involvement in Reef protection provides an opportunity to accelerate local and regional stewardship and habitat restoration efforts, while fostering social and economic benefits and a strong sense of connection to the Reef.
- Citizen science Reef projects ($4.5 million over 8 years 2022-23 to 2029-30)
- Funding for strategic and collaborative citizen science data collection, reporting and application projects.
- Projects to be delivered under the program will target research to support biodiversity protection and water quality monitoring and improvement.
- Citizen science engages the community in data collection and sharing to increase understanding about the condition of Reef habitats and species, and can better inform decision-making.
- Marine debris clean-up activities ($7.5 million over 8 years 2022-23 to 2029-30)
- Support for on-ground marine debris community clean-ups, targeted education and awareness-raising.
- Marine debris can originate from both the land and sea, with some containing toxic substances or pest species of animal and plants. Common items include plastic bags, bottles, drink cans and fishing gear.
- Marine debris negatively impacts all of the Reef’s values – its beauty, rich biodiversity, extensive natural habitats, historic heritage, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural values. It is a high risk to Reef ecosystems and wildlife including turtles, dugongs, corals and seabirds.
Independent data validation for fisheries to protect threatened species and support the future sustainability of the fishing industry
($26.7 million over 7 years 2023-24 to 2029-30)
The Australian Government is investing in the design and implementation of a contemporary and cutting-edge monitoring program to independently review and validate catch and bycatch data in high priority fisheries operating in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to benchmark impacts on protected species. The program, proposed to be delivered in partnership with the fishing industry and the Queensland Government, will help deliver a leading edge sustainable fishing sector in the waters of the Reef and reduce threats to at-risk marine species.
Fishing is an important activity in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area that provides valuable employment opportunities in local communities, commercial, recreational and cultural benefits. Commercial fishing in the World Heritage Area is managed by the Queensland Government. While regulated, fishing can have an impact on protected species though incidental capture and entanglement.
This initiative will complement the delivery of the Queensland Sustainable Fisheries Strategy and aims to help address key gaps in data collection. This will help inform management decisions associated with the impact of fishing on protected species. The enhanced monitoring and transparency will encourage responsible fishing and stewardship practices that protect World Heritage values and support industry to take a lead in demonstrating its sustainability credentials.
This initiative is linked with the Support for World-Leading Reef Management component of the $1 billion reef investment package.