Showing posts with label Great Barrier Reef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Barrier Reef. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Lobby group giving farmers a bad name



The Guardian, 2 May 2019:

The Queensland farm lobby AgForce has deleted more than a decade worth of data from a government program that aims to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef, in response to state government moves to introduce new reef protection laws.

Guardian Australia revealed in June that the state’s auditor general had raised concerns that agriculture industry groups had refused to share data from the “best management practices” program due to privacy concerns.

In recent months, AgForce and others had campaigned against the imposition of new reef protection regulations, which set sediment “load limits” in reef catchments and impose new standards on farmers.

The proposed new laws, which have been introduced to state parliament, also include a provision to allow the environment minister to obtain data from agricultural groups……

The Queensland environment minister, Leeanne Enoch, told the Courier-Mail the decision flushed “so much work and the taxpayer dollars that have been supporting it out to sea”.

“AgForce often claims that they are true environmentalists but this decision is not the action of a group that wants to protect the environment,” she said.

The Queensland audit office last year found that the success of the best management practices program could not be properly measured because the agricultural groups that receive government funding would not provide data on whether producers had actually improved their practices.

“This detailed information is currently held by the industry groups,” the report said. “Despite this work being funded by government, the information is not provided to government due to privacy concerns from the industry.

“These data restrictions mean government does not have full visibility of the progress made and cannot measure the degree of practice change or assess the value achieved from its investment of public funds.

“This means that the reported proportion of lands managed using best management practice systems could be overstated.”

Monday, 25 February 2019

Is the Great Barrier Reef not dying quickly enough for the Morrison Government and Australian Environment Minister Melissa Price? Are they trying to hasten its death?


Australia's Great Barrier Reef has been under threat from increased human activity for generations.

Sediment runoff due to land clearing and agrigultual activity, pollutants from commercial shipping, unlawful discharge of waste water from mining operations and coral bleaching due to climate change.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation is a port authority responsible for facilities at Weipa, Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point trading ports, and the non-trading port of Maryborough.

Three of these ports are in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. One of these, Hay Point is reportedly among the largest coal export points in the world.

This is what the Morrison Government's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has given this corporation permission to do.............

The Guardian, 20 February 2019:

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has approved the dumping of more than 1m tonnes of dredge spoil near the reef, using a loophole in federal laws that were supposed to protect the marine park.

The Greens senator Larissa Waters has called for the permit – which allows maintenance dredging to be carried out over 10 years at Mackay’s Hay Point port and the sludge to be dumped within the marine park’s boundaries – to be revoked.

“The last thing the reef needs is more sludge dumped on it, after being slammed by the floods recently,” Waters said. “One million tonnes of dumping dredged sludge into world heritage waters treats our reef like a rubbish tip.”

Acting on concerns from environmentalists, the federal government banned the disposal of dredge spoil near the reef in 2015. But the ban applied only to capital dredging. Maintenance work at ports – designed to remove sediment from shipping lanes as it accumulates – is not subject to it.

On 29 January the marine park authority granted conditional approval for North Queensland Bulk Ports to continue to dump maintenance dredge spoil within the park’s boundaries. The permit was issued just days before extensive flooding hit north and central Queensland, spilling large amounts of sediment into the marine environment.

Waters said the distinction between capital and maintenance dredging made little difference to the reef…..

North Queensland Bulk Ports, in a statement posted online shortly after the permit was issued, said it had to meet conditions to protect the marine environment. The ports authority said its dumping plan was peer-reviewed and considered best practice.

“Just like roads, shipping channels require maintenance to keep ports operating effectively,” the ports authority said. “Maintenance dredging involves relocating sediment which travels along the coast and accumulates over the years where our shipping operation occurs.

“Importantly, our assessment reports have found the risks to protected areas including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and sensitive habitats are predominantly low with some temporary, short-term impacts to (bottom-dwelling) habitat possible.

“The permits allow for the long-term, sustainable management of maintenance dredging at the Port and will safeguard the efficient operations of one of Australia’s most critical trading ports.”

Maintenance dredging will begin in late March. Initial dredging will take about 40 days.

BBC, 22 February 2019:

Australia plans to dump one million tonnes of sludge in the Great Barrier Reef.

Despite strict laws on dumping waste, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) gave the go-ahead.

A loophole was found - the laws don't apply to materials generated from port maintenance work.

It comes one week after flood water from Queensland spread into the reef, which scientists say will "smother" the coral.

The industrial residue is dredged from the bottom of the sea floor near Hay Point Port - one of the world's largest coal exports and a substantial economic source for the country....

It's just "another nail in the coffin" for the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, which is already under stress due to climate change, according to Dr Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.

"If they are dumping it over the coral reef itself, it will have quite a devastating effect. The sludge is basically blanketing over the coral.

"The coral relies on the algae, that's what give them their colour and what helps them feed - without this partnership the coral will suffer dramatically."

Dr Boxall says his worries about sludge-dumping are short-term - with the current Australian summer a time for "rapid algae growth".....

Dr Boxall says the impact will be lessened if the sludge is taken far enough offshore, but that it will still contain high amounts of harmful materials such as trace metals.

"If it's put into shallow water it will smother sea life," he says.

"It's important they get it right.

"It'll cost more money but that's not the environment's problem - that's the port authorities' problem."

Last year, Australia pledged A$500 million (£275m) to protect the Great Barrier Reef - which has lost 30% of its coral due to bleaching linked to rising sea temperatures and damage from crown-of-thorns starfish.

One of the threats listed at the time was "large amounts of sediment".

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Adani caught red handed breaking the rules - again



In 2017 the foreign multinational, the Adani Group, was found to have released heavily polluted water into coastal wetlands and the ocean around the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area - then lied about it.

Last Sunday it was reported to again be ignoring mining and environmental regulations and very predictably appears to be lying about its actions.

ABC News, 30 December 2018:

Mining firm Adani has unwittingly provided "persuasive" evidence for a Queensland Government investigation into allegedly illegal works on its Carmichael mine site, environmental lawyers say.

The evidence includes specifications of groundwater bores registered by Adani on a government website, which Queensland's Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) said could only be used for prohibited dewatering operations, and not for monitoring as Adani has claimed.

Adani has also confirmed it cleared 5.8 hectares of land when correcting an "administrative error" in its reporting to government, an action the EDO branded unlawful.

A spokeswoman for Adani insisted the company had acted in accordance with its environmental approvals, had not been dewatering for mining operations, and had "cooperated with both relevant State and Commonwealth departments regarding these allegations".


Satellite and drone evidence of drilling was presented to DES by the EDO on behalf of its client, environmental group Coast and Country.

Coast and Country spokesman Derec Davies said the evidence had resulted in an official investigation by the Queensland Government.

"Adani have been caught red handed breaking the law, and then lying about it within official documents," he said.

Dewatering bores are used by miners to prepare for open cut and underground operations.


An Adani spokeswoman said the company had drilled the bores "to take geological samples and monitor underground water levels", which she said was permitted as a stage one activity under its licence.

However, an expert has told the ABC the registrations for five of the bores that appear on a Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy website bear the hallmarks of dewatering bores, not monitoring bores.

They show the bores are constructed with steel rather than plastic casing, were considerably thicker than Adani's registered groundwater monitoring bores and ran deeper at 135 to 273 metres.

The bore reports did not include the baseline underground water level or the elevation of each bore, information considered critical for monitoring.

The five registered bores are also ascribed the abbreviation "DWB", commonly used for dewatering bores, instead of "GMB", commonly used for groundwater monitoring bores.

Read the full article here.

Monday, 1 October 2018

It appears the Australian Government's $487.6 million* grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation may end up paying for little more than ‘feel good’ greenwashing exercises



The Guardian, 26 September 2018:

Great Barrier Reef scientists were told they would need to make “trade-offs” to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, including focusing on projects that would look good for the government and encourage more corporate donations, emails tabled in the Senate reveal.

The documents, including cabinet briefing notes, contain significant new details about the workings of the foundation and the government decision to award it a $443m grant, including:

The executives of mining, gas and chemicals companies – and international financial houses that actively back fossil-fuel projects – were among the guests at a six-star retreat hosted by the foundation less than a month after the grant was announced;

The media companies Foxtel and Fairfax and the tech giant Google are among a tightly held list of donors to the foundation;

The only CSIRO employee contacted about the grant before the announcement in April was in Patagonia, and did not get the email. Documents have previously revealed that the government’s peak science agency was cut out of the decision to award the grant;

In August, as scrutiny of the grant intensified, public servants pushed to block a long-planned meeting between the then science minister, Michaelia Cash, and the head of the foundation, Anna Marsden, because of concern about the “optics”.

Emails sent by staff at the Australian Institute of Marine Science outline how government expectations, the ability to leverage private donations and public perceptions “may drive the [foundation] to prioritise shorter-term research initiatives in order to demonstrate progress and return on investment”.

“Where it becomes challenging is that … interventions with the largest future benefit also take the longest to develop,” the institute’s executive director of strategic policy, David Mead, wrote in an email to colleagues. 

 “Among other trade-offs, we will need to determine to what degree we focus on quick wins or whether we progress longer-term strategic interventions and accept that we will only partially progress them during the next five years (perhaps with little outward visibility of success/progress).”

The emails also reveal an initial state of uncertainty about how a $100m allocation for reef restoration and adaptation would be handled.

Three weeks after the announcement about the money, Mead was trying to get answers about how the grant would be allocated.

“I followed up with the granting agreement, did not really get an answer other than they are working on it over the next month,” Mead wrote on 18 May. “So we will just have to watch this space.

“Once the thing is signed by GBRF we are going to need them to make some definitive statements one way or the other, as everyone is wondering and I don’t want the team to destruct … ”

Emails between staff at the industry, innovation and science department reveal discussion about the “optics” of a long-planned meeting between Cash, Marsden and the chief executive of institute, Paul Hardisty.


Note

* The total Great Barrier Reef Foundation grant was for $487,633,300.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Will the Australian Government continue its policy of harrassment and intimidation in relation to Australia's national public broadcaster?


This was the situation before Malcolm Turnbull was politically beheaded by the hard right of the Liberal Party and Scott Morrison installed as the new Australian Prime Minister.....

Lenore Taylor is Guardian Australia's editor. She has won two Walkley awards and has twice won the Paul Lyneham award for excellence in press gallery journalism.

She has been a journalist for over thirty years and covered federal politics for over twenty-two years. 

Despite being invited onto the ABC "Insiders" program as a political journalist and editor, she found that pressure appeared to have been placed on that program to remove its video of her one of comments from its Twitter feed.



The Great Barrier Reef Foundation denies there was any prior due diligence conducted concerning the $487,633,300.00 grant.


“We had to certainly demonstrate value for money and our track record,” she said.

Once this particular cat was out of the bag ABC "Insiders" decided on 360 degree change of direction or suddenly remembered what being an independent public broadcaster actually means - readers can make up their own minds as to motive.

Remembering that as federal treasurer Scott Morrison led the charge to savagely cut ABC funding, the question that needs answering now is "Will he continue to bash the ABC by allowing minsters to apply inappropriate pressure on management and staff to alter editorial decisions?"

The real reason Turnbull gave the Great Barrier Reef Foundation $487.6 million with few strings attached and a short deadline on the spend

The Saturday Paper, 18-24 August 2018:

Picture the scene: three men in a room, two of them offering the third the deal of a lifetime.

The pair say they will give the man’s little outfit – which has assets of only about $3 million, turnover of less than $8 million and just a handful of staff – a $444 million contract, under terms yet to be negotiated. The offer comes out of a clear blue sky, totally unsolicited by the lucky recipient. For this little organisation, it is like winning the lottery, except they didn’t even buy a ticket.

Such a deal would be exceptional, even in the corporate world. It would have been exceptional even if the pair making the offer had been, say, investment bankers, and the third man the head of a tech start-up.

But they weren’t. Two of them were the prime minister of Australia and his environment minister, and the third was the chairman of a charitable organisation called the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. All three do have backgrounds as bankers, however: Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg and the foundation’s John Schubert worked with Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Commonwealth Bank respectively.

The question is why it was done this way. Why solicit this little organisation, of which most people would never have heard, to be the recipient of the biggest such grant ever made in Australia? Why was the money given without tender and without any prior grant proposal? Why, instead of providing the money a bit at a time, subject to satisfactory performance as assessed on an annual or biannual basis, was six years’ worth of funding provided in one lump on June 28, less than three months after that first meeting?

Geoff Cousins thinks he knows the answer.

Cousins is a former president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. Perhaps more importantly, he is a corporate boardroom heavyweight. For 10 years, he was an adviser to John Howard.

“It’s a most cynical piece of accounting trickery,” he says of the Barrier Reef grant. 

“A piece of chicanery. That’s the only way I can describe it.”

To explain why, he traces back several years, to the government’s desperate attempts to persuade UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, that it was a good steward of the Great Barrier Reef, and that the reef World Heritage area should not be declared to be “in danger”.

To that end, the government had promised, under its Reef 2050 Plan, to invest more than $700 million in measures to protect one of the world’s great natural wonders.
“For the Department of the Environment and Energy to grant over $440 million to a small charity that didn’t even prepare an application form or ask for the grant is inconceivable!”

“They made a commitment, the Australian government, to the World Heritage listing committee, to spend $716 million on the Barrier Reef, prior to 2020,” Cousins says. 

“But they have spent just a fraction of that, and there is no way that in the remaining 18 months or less that they can reach that target, which raises the potential of the reef being put on the endangered list.”

In Cousins’s view, someone must have realised the trouble the government faced in meeting its spending targets on time. His guess is Frydenberg.

“Even if you started now, you couldn’t actually spend that money. There’s not a list, not a pipeline of projects approved and ready to go,” Cousins says.

“So Malcolm, then putting on … his business head, his accounting head, says ‘Well, all we’ve really got to do is make sure the money moves from the government’s accounts to the bank account of some other private or not-for-profit institution, then the money is spent.’ But the money hasn’t really been spent at all. Even the CEO of the foundation says it won’t all be spent for six years.”

If you tried that kind of dodge in the corporate world, Cousins says, “your accounting firm would say … they would have to qualify your accounts”.

Cousins makes a very strong circumstantial case. It is true the federal government has grossly underspent on its UNESCO commitment, and that the money given to the reef foundation will go much of the way to making good on that funding promise.

It is true also that UNESCO has become increasingly critical of the government’s performance protecting the reef. Last year’s meeting of the World Heritage Committee noted in particular that progress on achieving water-quality targets was too slow to meet the agreed time frame. As it happens, the largest single item on the reef foundation’s to-do list is improving water quality, with $201 million allocated to it.

Read the full aticle here.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Federal Labor promises to pursue return of dodgy grant to Great Barrier Reef Foundation


Excerpt from email sent out over Labor Senator Kristine Keneally's signature on 17 August 2017:

On April 29 Mr Turnbull announced the largest donation of taxpayers money to a private foundation in Australian history.


That's why we're calling on Mr Turnbull to return the reef money. Here's what we know so far:
  • There was no tender process for the donation and the foundation never applied for the money.
     
  • The Prime Minister was present at the meeting with the foundation and he personally told the chair, Dr John Schubert about the donation. It appears no public servants were present.
     
  • Before receiving the donation the budget for the foundation was only $9 million and it only employed six full time staff.
     
  • The negotiations for  the contract that governs the half a billion dollars of taxpayers' money only began after the money had been announced and committed by the government.
     
  • The foundation has acknowledged the biggest threats to the reef include climate change and land clearing, yet the foundation has made clear none of its work goes to act against climate change or land clearing.
     
  • All the probity checks and balances which ordinarily apply to expenditure by government agencies will not apply to spending decisions made by the foundation.
Effectively, half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money has been given away without process, probity or policy justification.
 
The future of the reef should not be determined behind closed doors by Mr Turnbull’s mates......

Labor will continue to pursue this through the Senate Inquiry process and all other avenues available to the opposition.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Great Barrier Reef: $487.63 million to do little more than sit by the bedside of a dying reef system?


The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 2018:

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has had some good fortune that few environmental NGOs could count on. The $444 million it was granted by the government earlier this year dwarfs its previous budgets by a large multiple. Having worked in two small environmental charities of a similar operating budget and staffing to the pre-windfall foundation, I can confirm getting so much money without even applying for it is far beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Still, the biggest questions about the GBRF windfall don’t relate to its good luck in an opaque government decision, or even its connections to the fossil fuel industry. 

These are entirely valid concerns, but they risk eclipsing the bigger significance of the government’s move.

What we also need to ask is: what does the foundation do? What are its outputs, its activities? And why would the federal government be so keen to direct such a huge chunk of funding to those activities?

At best, the government’s massive funding dump is a long-shot attempt to save a few bits of the reef from inevitable degradation. At worst, it’s a distraction from that fate – and a diversion from addressing its causes.

The foundation has standard governance structures, and the support of credible, dedicated scientists. But what it does it essentially triage.

It’s now clear the government understands that even in the best climate scenario, the Great Barrier Reef will not survive in its recent form. The Department of Environment and Energy acknowledged this just last month. Even the Queensland tourism industry has publicly come to terms with the certainty that the reef will continue to suffer from climate change.

Scientists have been telling us since the 1980s that even modest climate change is a threat to coral reefs. Corals are so sensitive to changes in temperature that even in the best case warming scenario – achieving the 1.5 C stretch goal of the Paris Agreement - it’s now estimated that only 10 per cent of the world’s reefs will survive in their current form. At 2C, none are expected to escape “severe degradation and annihilation”.

The foundation delivers projects focused on “resilience, restoration and innovation”. That means doing its best to protect and restore the reef. It notes climate change is the biggest threat, but it does not address greenhouse gas emissions, at either a local or systemic level.

Its activities are similar to those we’ve seen from several other reef-focused initiatives and programs in recent years: breeding resilient corals, establishing small refuges, developing monitoring tools, and supporting species such as turtles and dugongs.

Projects like these have been allocated hundreds of millions of dollars of federal government funding through various programs over the years, including water quality and run-off management along with contentious projects to removing Crown of Thorns starfish, and more radical measures such as underwater fans to drive cooler water from the depths. The foundation, for its part, reported recently on testing of a polymer “sun shield”, noting that the technology would only scale to smaller, “high value or high risk” parts of the reef.

A good case can be made that these experiments are pragmatic. Even if emissions stop tomorrow, locked-in warming will continue to ravage the reef for the next few decades.

The foundation counts respected research institutions among its partners, and scientists such as Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland are on its scientific advisory board. For Hoegh-Guldberg, who sounded the alarm on the threat of climate for coral reefs in 1999, the foundation provides an important opportunity to educate corporations on the dire state of the Great Barrier Reef and climate in general. Again, its scientific review processes have not been questioned.

However, it’s important to remember that there's no guarantee these “resilience” activities will succeed against a backdrop of waters reaching temperatures deadly to coral. Whether portions of a complex marine ecosystem can be preserved, and in what form, is still very much unknown. Professor Terry Hughes, a contender for world leading coral reef expert, is dubious; in a Nature paper he found that water quality and fishing pressure – two key ways of improving resilience - made little difference in the face of devastating warm surges.

BACKGROUND


Sunday, 19 August 2018

The first unintended consequence of Malcolm Turnbull's perverse $487M grant to the small Great Barrier Reef Foundation surfaces


The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2018:

The Turnbull government's claim its $444 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation would spur private donations has been disputed by a leading coral scientist who says funding for his own venture has dried up in the wake of the cash splash.

Charlie Veron, a marine biologist dubbed "the godfather of coral" for discovering more than one-fifth the world's coral species, said US donors to his Corals of the World website dropped plans to donate $60,000 once they saw "the Australian government was going to pour a fortune" into reef projects.

"My source of funding has completely stopped," Dr Veron said.

Dr Veron said his website, a decade in the making, would be crucial for any future recovery work on the reef, such as the $100 million reef restoration and adaptation program that will now be under the foundation's stewardship.

Dr Veron said he met last week the foundation head, Anna Marsden, who said she "didn't have any money that could go" to his project despite it needing $200,000, or one-quarter of 1 per cent of the government's largesse, to survive.

"The whole thing is just a mystery to me," he said. "It's a drop in the bucket if ever there was one."....

A foundation spokeswoman said Dr Veron had been one of "a number of organisations [that] have expressed an interest" in seeking funds.

"At a recent meeting, we advised Dr Veron that a process was being established to consider proposals under the Reef Trust Partnership," she said. "We will consider proposals for funding once the governance and advisory framework is established and a process for applications has been approved."

Fairfax Media approached Josh Frydenberg, the environment and energy minister, for comment.

"Perverse outcomes are going to be part of a process that wasn't thought through," Tony Burke, Labor's environment spokesman, said. "The due diligence [into the Foundation before the grant was made] was a joke."

Mr Burke said it was possible that less private funding would available for reef projects than before as a result of "decision making with almost no formal process".

The foundation spokeswoman said that the non-profit will continue to make the raising of private funds "a focus and responsibility, so we can amplify the impact of the government’s investment".....

Dr Veron said donors to his site had poured in $2.5 million to build the most complete record of corals that would be critical for efforts to restore reefs in the future. For instance, it has identified and made available information of eight coral species that appear to be able to resist bleaching.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Great Barrier Reef Foundation: waiting for the inevitable crash


Mainstream media reports that Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull (former director Goldman Sachs), Minister for Environment and Energy & Liberal MP for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg (former director Deutsche Bank Australia) and Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation & Member of the Business Council of Australia John Schubert (former chair Commonwealth Bank) met on 9 April 2018 to discuss the allocation of a grant valued at in excess of AU$487.6 million to the foundation.

It was also reported that no officials from the Department of the Environment and Energy were present at that meeting when the grant offer was made and apparently accepted.

Less than ten weeks later the grant was formally approved without meeting all relevant provisions in the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation with a staff of only six full-time employees now has no more than 6 financial years to spend this large sum, which represents est. 69.66 per cent of funds held in the federal government operated Reef Trust since 2014 and 97.52 per cent of additional funds received by the trust on 29 April 2018.

Leaving the Reef Trust with an unspecified amount to fulfil other commitments over the next six years.

Due to obvious time constraints, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s board and corporate 'advisers' need to have a detailed financial and project action plan for 2018-19 immediately - if not sooner.

I suspect that I am not alone in waiting for waste of resources, duplication of effort, poorly targeted projects, lack of verifiable outcomes and other instances of  mismanagement to emerge over time, given the slapdash way this grant was put together.

Australian Government, GrantConnect:


GA ID: GA9190
Agency: Department of the Environment and Energy
Approval Date: 20-Jun-2018
Publish Date: 12-Jul-2018
Category: Natural Resources - Conservation and Protection
Grant Term: 27-Jun-2018 to 30-Jun-2024
Value (AUD): $487,633,300.00 (GST inclusive where applicable)

Ad hoc/One-off: Yes
Aggregate Grant Award: No

PBS Program Name: DoTE 17/18 Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment
Grant Program: Reef Trust
Grant Activity: Reef Trust grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Purpose: The project will deliver activities which are consistent with the purposes of the Reef Trust Special Account Determination to achieve the Reef Trust Objectives and assist to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Internal Reference ID: 100000001841

Confidentiality - Contract: Yes
Confidentiality Reason(s) - Contract: Other:  Aspects of the Co-Financing Plan and the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Plan 
Confidentiality - Outputs: No

Grant Recipient Details
Recipient Name: Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Recipient ABN: 82 090 616 443

Grant Recipient Location
Suburb: Brisbane
Town/City: Brisbane
Postcode: 4000
State/Territory: QLD
Country: AUSTRALIA

Grant Delivery Location
State/Territory: QLD
Country: AUSTRALIA



Third Sector, 7 June 2018:

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) has confirmed one of its board directors will step down as he faces criminal charges for cartel conduct.

Stephen Roberts, an investment banker and GBRF board director, has been charged by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly playing a part of a criminal cartel during a $2.5 billion deal.

ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, said: “These serious charges are the result of an ACCC investigation that has been running for more than two years.”

The charges, which included other banking chief executives and senior staff, were laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and will be determined in court.

Criminal charges relating to an alleged cartel by Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and the ANZ have been formally laid in relation to alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares following a $2.5 billion institutional share placement in August 2015.