How the Australian Government is Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

How the Australian Government is Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/06/2015

Reading time: 3 mins

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most well-known and beautiful natural phenomena in the world. Sprawling out over 344,400 square kilometres, it’s no small task to preserve and look after this spectacular World Heritage site.

Protect the Great Barrier Reef

Australia is dedicated to protecting the reef, its marine life and the hundreds of paradise islands that fleck the area. For almost half a century, the country has implemented numerous plans to ensure the reef remains healthy and natural. Additionally providing it with the tools and care it needs to thrive in its ever evolving environment.

The initiatives seem to be paying off, too, as it is now thought to be one of the best looked-after coral systems in the world. Though it still endures countless pressures from natural sources as well as man-made coastal developments. Every year, the Australian and Queensland governments put forward $200 million towards preserving and maintaining the reef. Here are some of the ways they do that.

  • Long-Term Sustainability Plan

    Clam Gardens, Great Barrier Reef

    For the reef to flourish for many more years, the government must ensure it has laid out a long-term plan. This plan is the main form of preservation and a key component aided by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee, They regularly meet to review the conservation efforts and to analyse further initiatives.

  • Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan


    Along with the many coral varieties and islands that dot the Great Barrier Reef, plans have been put in place to protect and conserve the vibrant marine life. The Reef Trust have put together a plan to reduce poaching and illegal hunting.

  • Reef Water Quality Protection Plan

    There are many facets to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, including keeping the water clean – a difficult task when contaminated water runs in from surrounding areas. This plan aims to put together a tight framework that will ensure the reef’s water is of the highest quality it can be.

  • North-East Shipping Management Plan

    The Great Barrier Reef is used for numerous different activities. As well as diving and tourism pursuits, it is also a well-trodden thoroughfare for ships. The Federal and Queensland governments have begun talks about ways in which the area can be made safer for ships. The report highlights risks that are common in the reef and its surrounding waters.

These are only a few ways in which the Australian government is looking to protect the Great Barrier Reef and its surroundings, bringing together numerous initiatives and creating campaigns that resonate with tourists as well as locals. The Question is could we be doing more, and the answer is undoubtedly YES!!

Related article: Which is the best Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.