£275million funded for Great Barrier Reef

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£275million funded for Great Barrier Reef

Australia on Sunday pledged a major cash injection to restore and protect the Great Barrier Reef in what it said would be a game-changer for the embattled natural wonder.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said more than A$500 million (£275 million) will go towards improving water quality, tackling predators, and expanding restoration efforts.

The World Heritage-listed site, which attracts millions of tourists, is reeling from significant bouts of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change.

The reef is also under threat from the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, which has proliferated due to pollution and agricultural runoff.

Mr Turnbull said it was the 'largest ever single investment - to protect the reef, secure its viability and the 64,000 jobs that rely on the reef.'

'We want to ensure the reef's future for the benefit of all Australians, particularly those whose livelihood depends on the reef,' he added. The reef is a critical national asset, contributing A$6.4 billion (£3.5 billion) a year to the Australian economy.