Great Barrier Reef gets $500m budget boost

Shae McDonald

The federal government will deliver the single largest investment in the Great Barrier Reef in Australian history on May 8, but conservationists say not enough is being done to address climate change.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop pledged $500 million on Sunday to help restore and protect the reef.

Mr Frydenberg said some of it would be funnelled directly to farmers to enable them to modify their practices and reduce the amount of sediment run-off.

The money will also go towards improving water quality, tackling the crown-of-thorns starfish and scientific research.

But Labor, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and 350.org have all criticised the government over its failure to address climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler said the government couldn't be serious about saving the ecosystem if it didn't have a serious plan to tackle global warming.

"As long as Malcolm Turnbull continues to pander to the climate change deniers of his party room the Great Barrier Reef will continue to suffer," he said.

Australian Marine Conservation Society spokeswoman Imogen Zethoven said the half-a-billion dollars in funding would be pointless if carbon pollution was not reduced and the Adani coal mine was allowed to go ahead.

"Australia must make the transition from burning polluting coal to a 100 per cent renewable powered future if we are to protect the future of the reef," she said in a statement.