When the Coalition came to office in 2013, we ended all five dredge disposal plans and put a ban on future dredge disposal projects in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. As a result of the Coalition’s actions, the World Heritage Committee removed the Reef from the ‘in-danger’ watch list and praised Australia as a global leader in reef management. Our Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan has been endorsed by the World Heritage Committee and guides our work with the community, scientists, industry, farmers and others to boost the Reef’s resilience. Together with the Queensland Government, we are jointly investing $2 billion over the next decade to ensure the health of the Reef. This includes the creation of a new $1 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation Reef Fund that supports clean energy projects in the Reef catchment area for example, water efficient irrigation systems or upgrades to coastal sewage treatment plants.
The Coalition Government has made an unprecedented financial commitment to Antarctic science and research, including an investment of $1.9 billion for a new ice breaker. On top of this, the Coalition committed an additional $255 million in funding over the next ten years to greatly enhance Australia’s Antarctic operations and science capabilities. This includes $55 million for infrastructure and $200 million for the ongoing Australian Antarctic Program. We have committed up to $50 million to construct a modern station at Macquarie Island to provide a year-round capability for scientific monitoring and priority research and we recently announced a that we would fund a new paved runway to provide more reliable access
Since 2014, the Coalition Government has invested over $210 million for species conservation. Our Threatened Species Strategy outlines achievable targets to turn around the trajectory of 20 priority birds, 20 priority mammals, and 30 priority plants by 2020. The Threatened Species Strategy also commits to the creation of five feral cat-free islands, 10 mainland feral cat-free wildlife enclosures, and the culling of two million feral cats. We have appointed Australia’s first ever Threatened Species Commissioner, created a $5 million Threatened Species Recovery Fund and launched the first ever Threatened Species Prospectus.
Additionally the Coalition Government has allocated $1.1 billion over seven years from 2016-17 to 2022-23 for continuation of the National Landcare Program to support local communities deliver on-ground action. This includes funding for: the Regional Land Partnerships Program to deliver natural resource management at a regional scale; the eradication of the Red Imported Fire Ant; and the management of World Heritage sites.