The Great Barrier Reef Foundation expects to spend more than $7 million on administration this financial year.

The foundation had just six full-time staff when it was given a $440 million grant in June by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

A Senate inquiry this week questioned how the grant was awarded, and how the money will be used.

Foundation managing director Anna Marsden said the group would spend $25 million on projects this financial year and $7.3 million on administration.

The foundation has already spent $800,000 on non-project costs since they received the federal money, but could not elaborate on what it was spent on.

“That's operational and project management costs, it's a range of things. I would be happy to take that question on notice and give you more a fulsome [response] but yes, $800,000 to date,” she said.

Ms Marsden said the foundation will be able raise “hundreds of millions” for the Reef, including from fossil fuel companies.

“Our view is there is a role for every Australian business to play a role in reef protection activities,” she said.

“We have a range of iconic Australia businesses that support us from a range of industries and some of these are resource companies.

“These organisations have a first-hand experience on the impacts of climate change and other pressures on the reef.”

Foundation chairman John Schubert rejected the claim that having major polluters fund reef repair is inappropriate.

“We are all the cause of climate change, it is not just fossil fuel companies,” he said.

“Fossil fuel companies are basically reacting to the demand of us. I flew here in a plane.”