This audit would examine the Department of the Environment and Energy’s design of the Australian Government’s $444 million partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to deliver water quality improvements, crown of thorns starfish control, science for reef restoration, increased community engagement and improved monitoring.

The World Heritage–listed Great Barrier Reef covers an area of 348,000 square kilometres and contributes an estimated $6.4 billion to the Australian economy through tourism, fishing, recreation and scientific research. Human and naturally caused environmental pressures have resulted in damage to the reef, including coral bleaching and die-off in some regions.

In April 2018, the Australian Government committed a further $500 million towards reef protection activities, building on the Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef 2050 Plan. As part of this new investment, the department will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

An audit of the design of the partnership model would include examining governance arrangements to support the effective implementation of programs covered by the partnership.