Palaszczuk Government partners with leading organisations to kick start innovative Reef Credit scheme

Published Tuesday, 19 September, 2023 at 02:00 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • Two organisations have been awarded contracts for projects that will help to kick-start Queensland’s emerging Reef Credit market.
  • The Reef Credit Scheme provides opportunities for farmers and landholders in Reef regions to earn additional income by generating and selling Reef Credits by taking actions on the land to reduce nutrient and sediment run-off.

The Palaszczuk Government has awarded contracts to two organisations as part of its $10 million commitment to help kick-start the state’s emerging Reef Credit market.

The two organisations, Palladium and GreenCollar, will now help secure new investment and work with landholders to develop on-ground Reef Credit projects.

Palladium will work with Griffith University to carry out a series of projects on grazing properties to rehabilitate eroded gullies and generate credits.

GreenCollar works with a wide range of delivery partners and landholders to generate credits from land management projects that reduce run-off of dissolved inorganic nitrogen from fertiliser and fine sediment from gully erosion on agricultural properties. Partners include the Neilly Group, Agriprove, Verterra and NQ Dry Tropics.

The credits generated from the projects may then be on-sold to corporations, private investors and philanthropic organisations who are motivated to protect the Reef, or are trying to meet their own policy, investment or corporate responsibility charters.

The Reef Credit Scheme is administered by independent environmental market regulator Eco-Markets Australia, a not-for-profit organisation.

Ensuring integrity of the scheme is a critical feature of Eco-Markets Australia’s role. This includes verifying project outcomes and providing a secure and transparent registry system.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leanne Linard:

“The Palaszczuk Government is taking strong action on the key threats to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, especially water quality.

“Since 2015, we have invested $1 billion on programs and initiatives to protect the reef, including $270 million for the Reef Water Quality Program.

“Our efforts are being recognised, with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee last week announcing that it would not list the reef as being “in-danger” because of the significant action that our government has taken, alongside the work of the Albanese Government, to respond to the threats facing the reef.

“The appointment of these organisations marks a significant step in our ongoing efforts to attract investment towards achieving cost effective and verifiable outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef through the Reef Credit Scheme.

“The Palaszczuk Government is leveraging $10 million to help support the emerging Reef Credit market.

“Reef Credits not only help to improve water quality and protect the Great Barrier Reef, but the market is also providing new ways to value Queensland’s significant natural capital assets.

“I strongly hope these projects will open the door for more organisations and companies to invest in the future of the Great Barrier Reef and encourage landholders to explore opportunities to undertake Reef Credit projects.”

Quotes attributable to Bernadette Howlett, Executive Officer from Palladium:

“Palladium is pleased to have the support of the Queensland Government.

“We see this as an important step in helping to grow this environmentally important market that will result in meaningful outcomes for Queensland landholders and the Great Barrier Reef.

“Palladium works globally to restore degraded landscapes including through the development of environmental markets—and we need to restore these landscapes to protect our environmentally, socially, and economically important Great Barrier Reef.

“This is why Palladium has partnered with technical experts Griffith University to deliver gully restoration benefits of the highest scientific standard.

“This additional partnership with the Queensland Government will help to reduce risk in the early phases of this new market, ensuring that we can work alongside landholders, regional and rural communities, and Traditional Owners to deliver environmental outcomes to protect the Great Barrier Reef.”

Quotes attributable to Carole Sweatman, General Manager of Water, GreenCollar:

“This strategic investment in Reef Credits by the Queensland Government is extremely significant in terms of building market confidence, coming as it does on top of the 40,000 Reef Credits GreenCollar has already generated and already sold to a mix of investors.

“It is playing an instrumental role in encouraging corporate investment into the Great Barrier Reef, which is vital to supporting Queensland agriculture and improving the health of this vast and vital ecosystem.”

Quotes attributable to Maree Adshead, CEO of Eco-Markets Australia:

“Environmental markets, like the water quality Reef Credit Scheme, create a viable channel for investment in key natural assets such as the Great Barrier Reef.

“We know how important the Reef is to Queensland's economic future and this project is a very smart way to catalyse change for good.

“Eco Markets Australia is delighted to be involved and is looking forward to sharing the many positive outcomes this project will deliver for years to come.”

Further information:

An Australian first, the innovative Reef Credit Scheme delivers water quality benefits for the iconic Great Barrier Reef and works in a similar way to carbon credits.

The scheme provides opportunities for farmers and landholders in Reef regions to earn additional income by generating and selling Reef Credits by taking actions on their land to reduce nutrient and sediment run-off.

As part of its $10 million commitment to support the development of the Reef Credit market the Queensland Government will provide the successful organisations with a guarantee of purchase for any Reef Credits that cannot be sold into the private market. Each Reef Credit represents a kilogram of dissolved inorganic nitrogen or 538 kilograms of fine sediment that has been prevented from reaching the Reef.

More information about the Reef Credit Scheme is available here.

Greencollar and Palladium were engaged following an open procurement process.


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339