Great Barrier Reef: $8.2b to help save the natural wonder

IT WILL cost $8.2 billion to achieve the maximum reduction in runoff into the Great Barrier Reef, a new report has found.

But that price is lower than previous estimates.

Environment Minister Steven Miles on Thursday received the final report from the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce - Costs of achieving the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef.

The report found it would cost government and private enterprise $8.2 billion to meet the targets for the maximum reduction in runoff.

Dr Miles said $6.46 billion was needed to reduce runoff halfway to the maximum reduction targets in the Fitzroy Basin alone.

"Taking into account our existing expenditure and new commitments, the Queensland Government will spend at least $450 million on reef water quality initiatives over the next 10 years. This complements the investment by the Australian Government," he said.

"This study is heartening as it shows our current level of government investment will make a difference. Together with private investment, I am confident we can make real progress towards our targets and deliver on our promise to protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations to enjoy."

Economist and peer review panel member John Rolfe said $8.2 billion was lower than the figures discussed in a draft report.

"Those early figures did not take into account the already achieved reductions in pollutants from 2009 to 2013," he said.

"The modelling now gives a more accurate estimate of what it would cost to deliver the targets using the knowledge and technology we have available today."

Dr Miles also announced the government agreed, or agreed in principle, to 10 recommendations the taskforce made in an earlier report.

"We have agreed, or agreed in principle, to also review the reef water quality targets, better communicate how everyone can improve reef water quality, use incentives to drive water quality improvements, pursue targeted regulatory approaches, develop a strategic investment plan and simplify and strengthen governance arrangements," Dr Miles said.

"As the taskforce identified, there is no single tool that will deliver the results we want. We need to significantly increase our use of existing tools and seek more innovative approaches." - ARM NEWSDESK

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