$3m for Burdekin landholders to drive change for Reef
Published Friday, 18 November, 2022 at 07:00 AM
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
The Palaszczuk Government has announced a further $3 million for the successful Landholders Driving Change project in the Burdekin, where farmers are improving the profitability and productivity of their land, reducing runoff and protecting the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s great lifestyle.
After visiting a project participant at Mt Pleasant Station this week, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the additional funding would drive more local action to address the risks of fine sediment runoff.
“The Palaszczuk Government and landholders in this region take our responsibilities to the reef seriously and this project has already reduced sediment runoff to the reef by a huge 10,600 tonnes each year,“ Minister Scanlon said.
“The project has been an enormous success with more than 90 per cent of large grazing properties in the region, covering some one million hectares, getting involved.
“Fine sediment poses one of the highest risks to Reef ecosystems, smothering corals, seagrasses, and other plants, affecting their growth and survival.
Minister Scanlon said the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan sets the target to reduce anthropogenic end-of-catchment fine sediment loads entering the Reef by 25 per cent (equating to 1935 kilo tonnes) by 2025.
(Anthropogenic loads are pollutants derived from human-based activities such as sewage treatment or fertiliser application).
“This builds on the close to $1 billion invested by the Palaszczuk Government since 2015 to protect the reef, and our further $270 million commitment to addressing water pollution.
“We are working in partnership with all levels of government, farmers, landowners, tourism operators and community groups to protect the reef, and the jobs that reply upon it.”
Landholders Driving Change, also known as the Burdekin Major Integrated Project, was developed in partnership with NQ Dry Tropics following a 2016 recommendation of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce.
Ms Scanlon said the next stage of support for Landholders Driving Change would focus on continuing to engage graziers, other land managers and the community to reduce sediment run-off, develop better understanding of land management and local water quality.
“This local design approach is one of the most effective ways to address sediment run-off, with the project leveraging existing relationships and local community knowledge.”
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078