Ley defends Tassie reef spend

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley has strongly defended the government’s decision that “a reasonable amount” of the announced $10 billion spend over nine years to save the Great Barrier Reef would be allocated to the Tasmanian federal electorates of Bass and Braddon.

“Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of ocean tide flows along the Australian eastern seaboard would know that farmland runoff from Tasmania eventually makes its way up the coast to pollute our amazing reef with unwanted chemicals and fertilisers,” she said.

Pointing at the relevant ocean flow arrows on a map (above) she joked: “This goes with this goes with this goes with…” to which one of the NewsCorp reporters present responded: “at Sussans!” leading to much merriment at the media call.

The minister flashed that trademark wide-mouthed smile that would make Julia Roberts turn green with envy before asking the media to settle down and continuing: “So it’s a no-brainer to spend just a fair share of that $10 billion to help the farmers of Bass and Braddon improve their water and soil retention practices and to switch to more environmentally friendly crop-growing materials.

“That in turn will free up their limited cash resources to spend more in the towns and villages of those two electorates to help all sorts of businesses rebound from the coronavirus pandemic caused by all three Labor state premiers but especially Daniel Andrews.

“It’s really a win-win-win situation in our ongoing fight against the Labor Par… I mean against the ongoing degradation of our amazing reef and the threat that brings to the income it generates both in tourism and local business success.”