Budget 2020-21—Protecting and preserving Australia's environment

6 October 2020

As part of Australia’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Morrison Government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Summer bushfires while delivering crucial environmental recovery and restoration activities with around an additional $1.8 billion over five years in new investments announced since last year’s Budget.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the 2020-21 Budget will deliver key outcomes in protecting our oceans, preserving national parks and heritage areas, transforming the nation’s waste industry as well as continuing critical wildlife and habitat restoration.

The key measures for the environment portfolio include:

Oceans and marine ecosystems

The Morrison Government is investing $67.4 million to protect our oceans and marine ecosystems.

This includes $14.8 million to tackle the marine impacts of ghost nets and plastic litter and $28.3 million for compliance, enforcement and monitoring activities across Australia’s Marine Parks.

$20.0 million will be invested through the Relief and Recovery Fund to re-establish native oyster reefs at 11 sites across the country, providing employment opportunities with lasting environment benefits.

Building on Australia’s international leadership in this space, $4.2 million will be invested for international blue carbon and rainforest partnerships that protect coastal and rainforest ecosystems.

Parks and Heritage

Australia’s parks and heritage areas will receive more than $319 million with a record $233.4 million for National Parks upgrades and $12.0 million to replace revenue foregone in COVID tourism and licence fee and entry fee waivers. 

An investment of $33.5 million from the Relief and Recovery Fund will provide infrastructure upgrades across national and world heritage sites, preserving and enhancing iconic sites, whilst also providing an economic boost through job creation and lasting benefits for our tourism industry.

Following the review into Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, the Government will invest $40.6 million to implement key recommendations focusing on the maintenance and restoration of Trust sites across Sydney Harbour including the master planning for the future of North Head and Cockatoo Island.

Recycling and Waste

The Morrison Government is the first Federal Government to place waste firmly on the national agenda.

Our $249.6 million investment will drive a billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling capacity.

This economic reform will create 10,000 new jobs over the next 10 years through initiatives such as the new Recycling Modernisation Fund, the National Waste Action Plan, national waste data systems and the implementation of our waste export ban.

Wildlife and habitat recovery

Native wildlife and habitat recovery remain a critical focus as we continue to roll out our more than $200 million commitment to bushfire wildlife and habitat recovery, as well as existing threatened species initiatives.

The Government will develop a new 10 year strategy to protect Australia’s threatened species, one that will draw heavily on Commonwealth-led research including through phase two of our $149 million National Environmental Science Program.

The Government will also provide $254.6 million over four years from 2020-21 to ensure the financial sustainability of the Bureau of Meteorology.

A further $36.6 million provided over two years from 2020-21 will maintain the timeliness of environmental assessments and undertake further reforms under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The Budget initiatives are in addition to the Government providing: 

  • $2.8 billion for our ongoing commitment to leadership in Antarctica and Antarctic science.
  • $10.6 million to support the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority through further upgrades of the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium in Townsville.
  • $6.0 million for the continued waiving of the Environment Management Charge for tourism operators on the Reef and a new $3.2 million support package for in-water conservation and monitoring activities which will provide much-needed business continuity for the Reef based tourism industry.

Budget infographics