Reef cash splash as update deadline looms

The Queensland and federal governments are splashing $45 million on a program to improve water quality and reduce sediment run-off at the Great Barrier Reef, as Australia makes its case that the iconic reef should not be declared endangered.

The Great Barrier Reef Gully and Streambank Joint Program, announced on Friday, will include physical remediation, research and grazing land management improvements.

Australia is relying on its Reef 2050 Plan to convince the UNESCO to keep the Great Barrier Reef off its list of World Heritage sites in danger, and must provide a status update on measures taken to protect the reef to the UN body next week.

Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he was hopeful that the update, due to be presented on Thursday, would be enough to satisfy the international authority.

"I don't want to pre-empt the outcome of their consideration at UNESCO of this report," he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"We don't want to see it go back on (the endangered watch list), but that's why we are putting our best foot forward, and hopefully UNESCO will look positively on the report."

Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said "massive progress" had been made in the first 18 months of its 35-year strategy to safeguard the reef, but said his government's inability to push its land-clearing reforms through parliament was of concern.

"The great shame of the progress report we're taking to UNESCO ... is that we have to explain to the global community that we have failed to implement one of the very important commitments, and that was to reduce land clearing in Queensland," Dr Miles said.

"We don't want to see the Great Barrier Reef listed as in danger, and if the global community begins to consider that it will be in part because we've been unable to secure those laws."