Turnbull likely to fail his Barrier Reef pollution targets

THE Turnbull government is unlikely to reach its own targets to reduce pollution and improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef, new research has revealed.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science says the government's targets to halve nitrogen run-off by 2018 will not be reached on current efforts.

While Environment Minister Greg Hunt has promoted federal spending of $2 billion over a decade to improve the reef, scientists and World Heritage experts repeatedly have said this was not enough.

The report said that current resources given to the task were "unlikely to be sufficient to protect the Great Barrier Reef's ecosystems from declining water quality" in time.

The Queensland Government also called on the federal government to match its own recent $100 million commitment.

It comes as the state government approved what could be the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere, the Adani Carmichael mine in central Queensland - upstream of the reef.

While the mine was not expected to directly impact the reef's waters, climate change experts have said the emissions caused by burning the exported coal will increase the global warming's effect on the reef.

That approval comes amid continued research trips to witness the effects of a coral bleaching event that has been called the worst such event in recorded history.