Media Release ·

Media Statement – Progress on Reef Trust Partnership

Media Statement – Progress on Reef Trust Partnership

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation today released a suite of documents outlining progress and next steps in delivery of the $443.3 million Reef Trust Partnership.

The plans have been lodged and published in accordance with the requirements of the grant agreement in place for the Reef Trust Partnership.

The three documents cover governance arrangements, a consultation plan for the investment strategy and annual work plans, and an activity gantt chart for work to be done in the current financial year.

“Our work to give effect to the grant agreement shows we are focused on our mission – protecting the extraordinary Great Barrier Reef,” said Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.

“The Foundation is building a platform consistent with our history of using collaboration to pool science, research and capital into projects to benefit the Reef.

“We need to match global action on climate change with local projects that mitigate the damage already done and build resilience and adaptation across the Reef.”

In addition to the publication of the three plans, the Foundation also released an Expression of Interest for the establishment of a Traditional Owner Working Group.

“Our vision is to actively partner with Traditional Owners to help us deliver innovative solutions that will increase the Reef’s resilience. The establishment of the Traditional Owner Working Group is a critical first step in the delivery of the Reef Trust Partnership.”

“We look forward to continuing to release more plans and documents as we design and deliver them.”

Ms Marsden outlined more information on each of the three plans and the Traditional Owner Working Group.


The governance arrangements, including the role of the Partnership Management Committee (PMC), are included in this document.

“Robust governance arrangements will ensure we can efficiently deliver on the agreement – and embed science in the design of the project portfolio,” Ms Marsden said.

“There is a clear line of sight and allocation of responsibilities between our Board, the PMC and International Science Advisory Committee – as well as engagement with traditional owners.”

Investment Strategy and Annual Work Plan Consultation Plan

The document outlines a consultation plan for the design and delivery of the Investment Strategy and Annual Work Plans, including with the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Forum, the Reef 2050 Independent Expert Panel and federal and state agencies.

“We have established a strong roadmap to guide consultation and engagement that will inform the allocation of funds under priority areas including improving water quality, tackling crown-of-thorn starfish and building resilience and adaptation across the Reef,” Ms Marsden said.

“It is crucial that the work is anchored in the priorities of the overarching framework for managing the Reef – the Reef 2050 Plan co-signed by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.”

Activity Gantt Chart

The document outlines the GBRF’s plan and associated budget for work to be undertaken implementing the agreement in the current financial year across key streams of work.

“We have an ambitious plan to bring the agreement to life as quickly as possible,” Ms Marsden said.

“A $7.3 million investment will be made in the first year of the partnership to develop and implement the most effective systems and processes needed to govern, manage and deliver the Reef Trust Partnership (RTP) across its entire life.

“This represents approximately 16 percent of the total capped amount permitted to be invested in administration of the RTP under the grant agreement.

“$25 million has also been set aside for early delivery of water quality programs with demonstrated performance, clear need and consistent with the broader objectives of the partnership.”

Copies of the plans are available here.

Expressions of Interest – Traditional Owner Working Group

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is calling for Expressions of Interest for the establishment of a Traditional Owner Working Group. The purpose of this Group is to provide strategic guidance to the GBRF in advancing the co-design and implementation of our policies, programs and investments under the RTP. This is a critical first step in the development of our RTP policies under our Agreement with the Commonwealth Government.

The Foundation works with Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef on a number of projects including the Raine Island Recovery Project. This is a five year public private partnership between the GBRF, BHP, the Queensland Government, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Wuthathi Nation and Kemer Kemer Meriam Nation (Ugar, Mer, Erub) Traditional Owners to protect and restore the island’s critical habitat to ensure the future of key marine species including green turtles and seabirds. 

Further information is available here.