There seems to be little accord about what saving the reef means and how that is to be achieved

As part of the coverage of Labor’s first budget, the ABC provided analysis of the nation’s winners and losers. In it, the Great Barrier Reef was listed as “neutral”. The reef received no additional funding beyond the commitments Labor had made during the election campaign.

It is striking that an ecosystem – a more-than-human place – could be listed alongside major economic and social concerns such as families, the Pacific, NBN and the ABC itself. It is a testament to the importance of the reef to our national identity, but also how dire things have become for that environment in the last four decades.

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