MEDIA RELEASE: LABOR SUBMITS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI) OVER GREAT BARRIER REEF FUNDING
LABOR SUBMITS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI) OVER GREAT BARRIER REEF FUNDING
TUESDAY, 22 MAY 2018
Federal Labor is making freedom of information requests into the Government’s discussions regarding the funding to be provided to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Senate Estimates has revealed that the Government’s investment of an additional $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has been a chaotic process.
It is also not clear the extent to which the Great Barrier Reef Foundation was properly consulted and prepared for an increase in funding of this scale.
Despite this being the largest donation the Australian Government has ever provided, the Minister repeatedly confirmed during estimates that the Foundation did not submit an application, a competitive tender process was not followed and that the Department and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Association may not have been aware of the funding boost as recently as a week before the announcement.
It is not clear that the Foundation is even able to cope with a grant of this size – their previous revenue for 2015 and 2016 was $9.6 million and $8 million respectively.
The Government has not yet revealed to extent of what they knew and when they knew it, this should be made available through a Freedom of Information request.
The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is a reputable organisation with which Labor has had a good working relationship.
Labor is determined get to the bottom of why work of this scale which would ordinarily be overseen by the Department and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been outsourced to this Foundation.