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Treasurer says $444-million grant is justified, ‘the Barrier Reef needs more funding’

The federal government is continuing to defend a big taxpayer-funded grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

An inquiry into a multi-million-dollar grant to a little-known organisation will continue in Canberra today

Earlier this year, the federal government handed the Great Barrier Reef Foundation $444 million.

But the organisation had asked for just $5 million to continue its reef protection work.

“They didn’t ask for the money. Where the hell did $444 million come from?” says Alan Jones.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tells him the money is justified.

“Well, the first thing to say is, the Barrier Reef needs more funding.

“The foundation is the single largest charity for the reef in the country.

“This contribution went through an ERC (Expenditure Review Committee) process.”

He tells Alan his department put in writing to him that “the contribution to the reef foundation would represent value for money”.

“These are rent seekers, my friend,” says Alan to the Minister.

“They just see you mob coming and it’s 400 million in the kick.”

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