Morrison reef envoy work to be published

Paul Osborne
Reports by 'reef envoy,' Warren Entsch , will be released on the Environment Department's website

Regular reports produced by the Morrison government's "reef envoy" Warren Entsch are set to be made public, despite an earlier decision to keep them secret.

Mr Entsch, the Liberal National Party member for the north Queensland seat of Leichhardt, was appointed to the role by Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the May election.

A second envoy position, Barnaby Joyce's advisory role on the drought, was not filled.

Mr Joyce sparked a furore when it was revealed he was not required to produce a final report from his eight-month stint in the role.

He angrily rejected suggestions he failed to deliver, claiming he compiled multiple reports - many via text messages to the prime minister - and made hundreds of representations on behalf of farmers.

Environment department officials revealed, in an answer to a Senate question on notice, that Mr Entsch had been asked to provide biannual reports "to support decision-making and convey community and industry views to government".

The reports would be provided to Environment Minister Sussan Ley "but are not required to be tabled in parliament", the department said.

Labor environment spokeswoman Terri Butler said Mr Entsch was acting "more as a decoy than an envoy".

"The reef is under serious threat and yet we have a reef envoy with no clearly discernible role, no idea what he is doing and now a government trying to cover that up," Ms Butler told AAP.

She called on the minister to ensure the reports are released.

Ms Ley told AAP on Friday afternoon she had agreed to the reports being published on her department's website.

But they would not be tabled in parliament.

"The reef envoy is responsible to the Minister for the Environment, which is why he presents his activity reports to me, as Environment Minister, not parliament," she said.

"All elected members are ultimately responsible to the people of Australia.

"To that end, I am very comfortable with the reef envoy's biannual reports being made public via the Department of the Environment and Energy's website."