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Green groups question reef rescue plan

A $ 400 million rescue plan for the Great Barrier Reef will fail unless the Turnbull government re-uses coal, environmentalists say.

Next month's federal budget is expected to represent the $ 400 million plan as an environmental centerpiece, The Australian reported Friday.

The package will reportedly include $ 60 million already pledged by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and address the runoff of agriculture, the destructive crown of sea star thorns, and fund new research on coral bleaching.

The Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said that government support for Adani's new planned coal mine in Queensland and inadequate action on climate change would undermine the rescue plan.

"We can only guarantee a healthy and prosperous reef for future generations by stopping the pollution that is fueling global warming, which in turn is driving the massive bleaching of corals and the acidification of the oceans," executive director of ACF ive Kelly O & # 39; Shanassy told AAP.

"Support for more dirty coal, such as backing the Adani mega mine and pushing the ball pollution reduction targets under the national energy policy, is inconsistent with a good barrier reef." [19659007] Natural Wilderness Society activist Jessica Panegyres said that clearing in reef basins increased by 50 percent in 2015-16 to 158,000 hectares, and that if deforestation were not addressed in Queensland, the rescue package would be Useless.

"If the Turnbull The government took seriously the protection of the quality of the reef water in which they would intervene and urgently control deforestation," said Ms. Panegryes.

The Federal Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, did not comment on speculation about the budget.

We hope to see what is in the budget when the treasurer passes it in a couple of weeks, "he told The Australian.

Leading reef scientists claim that coral bleaching events are consecutive, caused Because of the higher ocean temperatures they have devastated the reef, and some parts of it may never recover.

During his recent visit to Australia, Prince Charles asked that the reef be placed in the heart of what he called a new "blue economy."

He said that coral bleaching and climate change meant that the world had come to a crossroads when it came to protecting reef ecosystems around the world, and the decisions of the next decade would determine their fate.

A report by Deloitte Access Economics published last year reef at $ 56 billion, propping up 64,000 direct and indirect jobs, which contributed $ 6 .4 billion to Australia's national economy each year.

He warned of the enormous economic consequences for Australia unless more was done to protect the reef.

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