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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Population

Reef water quality monitoring receives $15.2 million boost

Media release
8 June 2010

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The Rudd Government will invest $15.2 million to measure improvements to water quality through improved land management practices under the Reef Rescue program.

At the Reef Rescue Showcase in Cairns today, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts Peter Garrett said the Australian Government would work with the Queensland Government, regional natural resource management groups, industry and research organisations to implement an innovative Paddock to Reef Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting program.

"For the first time we will be able to monitor the outcomes of our Reef Rescue investment from the farm all the way through the catchment and into the Great Barrier Reef," Mr Garrett said.

The program is part of the Australian Government's $200 million Caring for our Country Reef Rescue election commitment, which is working to improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef.

"Reef Rescue is making the Great Barrier Reef more resilient to the impacts of climate change by helping farmers improve their management practices and reduce the amount of nutrients, chemicals and sediments leaving their farms," Mr Garrett said.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the initiative will help to measure progress towards the ambitious water quality goals set for Reef Rescue and will provide critical information to guide future investments under the program.

"The work that is happening under Reef Rescue is some of the best work I have seen - farmers are enthusiastically adopting better measures to reduce runoff, with the help of the Rudd Government."

The government's investment will also maintain the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's state-of-the-art Reef Water Quality and Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program.

"The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's marine monitoring program is a critical component for measuring long-term improvements in water quality resulting from the adoption of improved land management practices in the Reef catchment," Mr Garrett said.

For more information on Caring for our Country and Reef Rescue visit www.nrm.gov.au 

Commonwealth of Australia