Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

Barrier Reef funds to sandbag key seats

FUNDING of more than $400 million for the Great Barrier Reef is expected to be a key environment package in next month's Federal Budget.

As the Turnbull Government looks to secure and shore up key seats in regional Queensland ahead of the next federal election, The Australian reports funding to preserve the reef will be a main environmental announcement in the Budget on May 8.

The $400 million conservation spend is understood to include $60 million in funds already announced by the Coalition earlier this year.

The funding will reportedly go towards initiatives to combat the spread of the devastating crown of thorns starfish, programs to reduce sediment, agricultural run-off and coral bleaching research.

It is understood most of the funding would be spent in the 2018-19 financial year, with the rest spread across the forward estimates.

The environment and preservation of the reef are seen as key election issues.

The Coalition will aim to win back the key Townsville-based seat of Herbert and shore up support in Capricornia, Leichhardt, Dawson and Flynn.