People willing to pay for reef

QUEENSLANDERS would be happy to invest $150 million of their own money to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef, a CQUniversity study has shown.

The three-year survey study involving more than 4000 households has just been completed by researchers at the university’s Centre for Environmental Management.

The centre’s director, Professor John Rolfe, said the research showed Queensland households, on average, were willing to pay up to $28 each year to protect or improve conditions on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Essentially we’ve given them some different scenarios for improving protection of the Great Barrier Reef, where the costs of additional support are shown.

"By looking at different scenarios they pick, we can work out how much they’d be prepared to pay, and what their values are,” Professor Rolfe said.

“As a broad rule of thumb, the values were about $23 to $28 per household for each one percent of improvement.”

The survey selected households across the state at random and provided them with a range of scenarios for improving marine park conditions.

“We first told people what condition the reef is in at the moment, which is generally very good, then what the scientific predictions were for 25 years’ time.

"After that we described possible management actions through improving water quality into the Great Barrier Reef, improving the conservation of the marine area or reducing greenhouse gas emissions, together with associated costs.”

Professor Rolfe said the the valuation work was useful for the Government in allocating funding for the protection of the reef.

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