It was a classic piece of public relations. A week before the budget, the federal government announced it was committing half-a-billion dollars to the ailing Great Barrier Reef, with the immediate aims of enhancing water quality, culling outbreaks of invasive crown of thorns starfish and boosting scientific research funds that might aid the reef’s “resilience”.
|Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visits the|
Australian Institute of Marine Science in Queensland.
There was no mention of climate change. That should not be surprising. The Turnbull government remains at war with itself over climate and energy policy, with many of its own members openly derisive of climate science and questioning Australia’s commitment to the Paris agreement to keep rises in global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius.
That cohort predictably includes former prime minister Tony Abbott and his backers.
Read the story by Andrew Stafford from The Saturday Paper - “Who is the group awarded $443m to save the reef?”