Plibersek’s doomsday lies an excuse to spend

by CRYSTAL-ROSE JONES – GEO-PHYSICIST Peter Ridd says an additional $5m allocated to the Great Barrier Reef in this week’s budget would be better spent on “genuine problems”. 

The funding was handed down as part of Labor’s 2024 May 14 Federal Budget. 

How did the Great Barrier Reef end up with so much coral if the past four [so-called] bleaching events were so catastrophic – even the fastest growing coral takes five to 10 years to regrow.

In a statement released last month, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation said the reef had suffered through the “worst summer” on record, with cyclones, severe flooding, starfish outbreaks and mass bleaching.

The funds will help the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to engage tourism operators undertaking reef monitoring, protection and stewardship.


The Great Barrier Reef Foundation said the full extent of mass bleaching was unknown, but it claims aerial surveys of 1000 reefs showed a rate of 73 per cent bleaching within the area, plus another six per cent in the Torres Strait.

“The Reef Summer Snapshot shows the highest levels of coral bleaching were found across the southern region, where temperatures are typically cooler, and parts of the central and northern regions, where in some areas corals were exposed to record levels of heat stress,” the Foundation said in an online report.

Yet Mr Ridd, a researcher into the Reef, said claims of poor health had been greatly exaggerated.

“It is telling that in the latest doom-news about Great Barrier Reef bleaching, they failed to mention that the Great Barrier Reef had record amounts of coral in 2022/23 despite having suffered four ‘catastrophic’ bleaching events in 2016, 17, 20, and 22,” he said.

“We ended up with twice as much coral than in 2012 when a couple of cyclones genuinely destroyed a lot of coral.

“How did we end up with so much coral if those last four bleaching events were so catastrophic – even fast-growing coral takes five to 10 years to regrow.”

The coral that bounced back, he says, is the type most susceptible to water bleaching.

“That proves the past four bleaching events were exaggerated in terms of the coral death, and there is no reason to expect this latest event to be much different,” he said.

Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek announced earlier this month that the Labor Government would increase funding to $17.5m in local council projects to protect the Reef.

“We’re committed to protecting our precious Great Barrier Reef and supporting the 64,000 jobs that depend on it,” she said.

“Protecting and restoring the Great Barrier Reef requires all levels of government and communities to work together.”


But Mr Ridd says there’s evidence the Reef is thriving.

“The latest $5m increase is just a drop in a bucket of how much cash is wasted ‘saving’ the Reef, which is actually one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet,” he said.

“I estimate about $400m is spent each year – and that is almost all wasted. We’d be better spending it on genuine environmental problems.”

Mr Ridd said the money could be used to audit the claims of widespread reef destruction.

“Within the Great Barrier Reef science institutions there’s a great deal of groupthink, emotion and raw self-interest to maintain the fiction that the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger,” he said.

“All dissenters are excluded and removed. The institutions need to be challenged by an official scientific ‘red-team’.

“This cash could be well spent on a publicity campaign pointing out the good condition on the reef. The recurring bad news and exaggeration is very bad for the Great Barrier Reef tourist industry.”

The 2022–23 Federal Budget allocated $1b over nine years to maintain the reef.

A spokesperson for the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment & Water said a wide range of funding had been put in place to protect and maintain the World Heritage listed site.

“The Australian government has committed record funding of $1.2b in the Great Barrier Reef through to 2030, including an extra $5m to extend the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative, so tourism operators on the Great Barrier Reef can continue to play a key role in protecting this precious area,” a Department of Climate Change spokesperson said.PC

Crystal-Rose Jones

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Tanya Plibersek. (courtesy The Sydney Morning Herald)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Epoch Times on May 17, 2024. Re-used with permission.

4 thoughts on “Plibersek’s doomsday lies an excuse to spend

  1. The LNP goes off all the time over ALP wastage of taxpayers money, but Morrison really spent more than any ALP ever has. There needs to be accountability with a website that lists every dollar spent. I’m not voting for any of the major parties, they’re all just full of spin. Neither Labor or Libs have committed to a royal commission on covid – they’ve all got something to hide.

  2. Before Christmas, Plebosnork will announce that a covid variant has been detected in a new species of Crown of Thorns starfish, which grows to the size of a bus and not only eats coral but also dolphins and small children.
    Billions will be required to eradicate the problem.

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