Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media during a news conference on the Great Barrier Reef in Townsville, Australia, June 13, 2016 AAP/Lukas Coch/via REUTERS
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, facing a tight re-election battle, pledged Monday a A$1 billion ($738 million) fund for the Great Barrier Reef, where scientists say mass coral bleaching has destroyed vast tracts of the World Heritage site.A report late last month said mass coral bleaching, caused by climate change, had destroyed at least 35 percent of the northern and central Great Barrier Reef and that the coral mortality rate would likely rise.Turnbull, on the campaign trail for the July 2 election in tropical northern Queensland state, the usual jumping-off point for tourists going to the reef, said he would instruct Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to redirect A$1 billion of its A$10 billion fund.
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