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Senate to probe $444m Great Barrier Reef grant

A parliamentary inquiry will look into why a small not-for-profit was awarded a $444 million grant without the competitive tender process.

The Turnbull government came under scrutiny when they awarded the grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) in April. The inquiry, which was moved by Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has the support of Labor, Greens and crossbench senators.

Labor environment spokesperson, Tony Burke, told the media there had been no proof of correspondence between the Great Barrier Reef marine park authority and the office of environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, in the lead up to the grant.

“It beggars belief that a record-breaking donation to a private foundation would take place without the minister seeking any advice from the Great Barrier Reef marine park authority which is charged under Australian law as being the principle advisor on matters about the Great Barrier Reef,” Burke said on Wednesday.

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