An investment of $20.75 million over the next three years will help farmers reduce harmful run-off, improve productivity and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
The multi-million-dollar injection into the agricultural industry, recently announced by the State Government, will enable the continuation of the Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) program and the agricultural industry’s Best Management Practice (BMP).
Burnett Mary Regional Group's CEO Sheila Charlesworth welcomed the funding and said the GRASS program had delivered significant environmental benefits.
“The Burnett Mary Regional Group has been developing action plans for land management in consultation with farmers to improve paddock management and pasture cover to enhance production, provide economic benefits and deliver environmental outcomes,” she said.
“The program has been very successful in achieving these objectives.”
BMRG project officer Samuel Groom said landholders had benefited from ongoing support to deliver improvements.
“The program will continue to promote, develop and extend grazier involvement in improving Reef water quality outcomes and land management capability,” he said.
“BMRG will help to ensure that graziers understand obligations under the Reef regulations and are supported to meet or exceed minimum practice standards.”
In a successful case study, Mr Groom said a landholder was assisted to implement erosion control works.
“This project involved remediating three separate gullies that formed over the property as well as riparian fencing,” he said.
“At one site, contour banks were broken to form small pondage dams approximately every 30 m in a checkerboard pattern down the slope so no breaks lined up or allowed water to flow unimpeded down the full slope length.
“The erosion remediation works were completed successfully and the landholders have already seen benefits as the property has been subject to multiple flood events, during which most of the works withstood and performed well.”
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said farmers would continue to play a critical role in helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
“Both programs are aimed at helping our agriculture industry improve land condition, enhance production and, ultimately, reduce pollutants in reef catchments,” she said.
“This funding forms part of our five-year $270.1 million Queensland Reef Water Quality Program to address water pollution, taking our total spend on water quality since 2015 to over $1 billion.”