Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $60 million rescue package – to be spent over a period of 18 months – for the Great Barrier Reef. The package will include research on developing “resilient” coral, an increased number of reef officers and vessels targeting crown of thorns starfish outbreaks, and paying farmers to pollute less.
Turnbull said there was a “very strong link” between water pollution and crown of thorns starfish outbreaks. “The techniques are basically to build swales and ditches and, you know, plantings to slow down the runoff, so that all of the fertilisers and nutrients don’t get into the river and therefore into the reef,” he said.
Around $36.6 million, will be spent on “supporting farmers stopping runoff off their properties” in order to improve water quality.