Senate debates

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Great Barrier Reef

2:57 pm

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Furner for his continued interest in Reef Rescue in Queensland. The Labor government is proud to support the health of our Great Barrier Reef and the productivity of our farmers through Reef Rescue. Reef Rescue supports and protects land managers by encouraging them to improve their practices and in turn improve farm productivity. Since 2008 more than 3,200 canegrowers, graziers and other land managers from Cape York to Bundaberg have benefited from Reef Rescue, and at the same time we have stopped the equivalent of over one million wheelbarrows worth of run-off entering the reef.

Farmers believe in this program. For every dollar the Gillard government has put in the farmers have put in around $1.80 of their own money. It is important to recognise that contribution of farmers The program works, and that is why the Prime Minister and I announced in Mackay a further $200 million to extend the program.

Over the many decades that graziers were losing paddocks from significant riverbank erosion, which in turn caused significant damage by run-off into the reef, using Reef Rescue funding graziers were able to reinforce riverbanks, stopping the erosion and run-off, which is a real win-win for not only the reef but graziers as well.

Reef Rescue is a great partnership between government and local land management and it is a partnership that only Labor could ever have delivered for Queensland and for the reef. It has provided significant benefits not only across North Queensland—


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