23 September 2016

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has signed an exciting new five-year partnership with Boeing Australia to jointly develop new technological solutions to the complex problem of environmental monitoring on the Great Barrier Reef.

Engineers from Boeing Research & Technology-Australia and Boeing subsidiary Insitu Pacific and marine science experts from AIMS will combine their skills and knowledge to come up with technologically innovative, and commercially attractive, monitoring solutions suitable for the marine environment.

These will include combining the capabilities of satellites, unmanned airborne systems, and autonomous surface and underwater vehicles into sophisticated systems that will assist in the collection of marine data in a way that is safe, quick, and affordable.

In order to assess and track changes in the Great Barrier Reef, extensive and repeated monitoring is critical.

The recent bleaching event highlighted both the importance of ongoing monitoring and the challenges involved in doing so – with the Great Barrier Reef as large in size as Italy.

Technology development is recognised as one of the critical ingredients required to enable Australia to better monitor our tropical oceans and marine environment.

Innovative approaches, through optimising current and emerging technologies, is one of the keys to doing this well.

The systems expected to be developed under this exciting partnership will provide a big step forward in improving the quantity, quality and timeliness of environmental data.

We hope to be able to increase our understanding, and refine our solutions, to monitoring, managing and improving the health of our unique and iconic Great Barrier Reef.

Australians are passionate about the Great Barrier Reef and the Turnbull Government is committed to protecting it for future generations.

During the election campaign, we announced the creation of a $1 billion Reef Fund that will help to protect the Great Barrier Reef by tackling its two biggest challenges – climate change and water quality.

This builds on the Coalition’s existing policies, including the landmark Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan as well as the Reef Trust which is improving water quality and fighting the coral-eating crown of thorns starfish.

SOURCE:  Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science