MEDIA RELEASE: FOI REVEALS MORE CONFUSION ON THE GOVERNMENT’S GREAT BARRIER REEF CASH SPLASH
FOI REVEALS MORE CONFUSION ON THE GOVERNMENT’S GREAT BARRIER REEF CASH SPLASH
The Government’s response to Labor’s freedom of information (FOI) request has revealed that there was absolutely no consultation between the Minister for the Environment or his office and the Government’s key advisor on the Great Barrier Reef prior to the Government providing a half billion dollar donation to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation from 1 April 2018 to 30 April 2018 inclusive.
It beggars belief that a record breaking donation to a private foundation would take place without the minister seeking any advice from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority which is charged under Australian law as being the principle advisor on matters about the Great Barrier Reef.
Requested in the FOI were copies of all communications between the Authority and the Minister for the Environment and Energy or the Minister’s Office which relate to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Documents requested include, but are not limited to, emails, attachments to emails, text messages, letters, notes of meetings and phone calls (being records of communications), briefs, attachments to briefs (including Ministerial advisor notes), reports, instructions and drafts of any of the above.
It is still not clear that the Great Barrier Reef 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 Foundation has six full-time, and five part-time members.
Labor will continue to investigate further.
WEDNESDAY, 20 JUNE 2018