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Australia's federal government is allotting half a billion dollars to help protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and other treats.

Described by the Australian government as the largest single investment for reef conservation and management in the country's history, the money will be used to improve water quality, control a major predator, and expand reef restoration.

To tackle the growing problem of crown-of-thorns starfish, water pollution, and reef damage, the government will team up with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation where $444 million will be allocated to these particular areas.

The funding, announced on Sunday ahead of the May budget, is targeted at reducing fertiliser use to minimise agricultural run-off and improve water quality.

The Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from space, covers 348,000 square kilometers and was world-heritage listed in 1981 as the most spectacular coral reef on the planet, according to the website of the United Nations cultural body UNESCO.

Although some fear that much of the damage can not be undone, John Schubert, chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, believes that the government's attention gives the reef "real hope".

"We welcome the investment in the #GBR, particularly funding for science to support reef resilience and adaptation, but the science advises us the #GBR is highly vulnerable to climate change", the academy said a statement on Twitter, using a hashtag to refer to the Great Barrier Reef.

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An accident relief medical train from Gorakhpur has been dispatched to the site, he said. The train involved in the incident when it was on its way from Sivan to Gorakhpur .

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate and Energy Campaigner, Nikola Casule, said the Reef's destruction could be pinned on fossil fuels.

"It's not working, it's not achieving major water quality improvements", he said.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg insists the government is trying to turn that around. We must address crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.

The administration of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Sunday it is earmarking more than AU$500 million, or $379 million in USA dollars, to protect the reef in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Two successive heat waves in 2016 and 2017 killed off almost half of the northern reef's coral, according to a study published this month.

"Millions of dollars will go into science and to better data management and to be able to test the impacts on the reef", he added.

The 2016 bleaching event, the worst on record, mainly affected the north of the reef, while the recent damage has mostly impacted the middle sections, according to scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. "These funds represent an unequalled opportunity to create a legacy of hope for future generations".

It builds on the joint $2 billion Australian and Queensland Reef 2050 plan.


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