After three years, the Reef Alliance’s Growing a Great Barrier Reef (GGBR) project has concluded with two reports released today detailing the partnership’s achievements in encouraging farmers to embrace practice change and make on-farm improvements to mitigate and manage agriculture’s impact on the Reef.
The innovative GGBR project was a significant step in bringing together government, the agricultural sector and natural resource management organisations to proactively work together to minimise soil loss, optimise fertiliser application and pesticide applications, to safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) CEO Dr Georgina Davis said the new water quality model had advanced farmer practices beyond industry best management practice and fast tracked the implementation of innovative practices.
“As a result of the GGBR project, more than 40 dedicated extension officers engaged with 1,588 landholders to deliver one-on-one customised farm planning and personalised technical advice,” Dr Davis said.
“Through which 1,783,998 hectares of farmland across Queensland’s Reef catchments have demonstrated practice change to safeguard the Reef such as achieving dissolved inorganic nitrogen savings of 366 tonnes.”
“The implementation of a single database to manage practice change and extension information across five Reef catchments allowed the Alliance to chart a ‘reef-wide story’.”
“Farmers excelling in their roles as environmental stewards, extension officers and community members have also been recognised for contributing to better water quality outcomes by annual Reef Champion Awards.”
“Innovative nitrogen reduction practices, dedicated approaches to extension, revegetation of farms and conservation of wetlands and riparian areas are just some of the success stories from the agricultural sector working to protect the Great Barrier Reef through this project.”
“Agriculture has been and remains committed to achieving the best possible environmental outcomes for the Reef, and these important actions have made huge improvements to the quality of the water leaving the farm.”
“With the GGBR project now concluded, the current investment focus is now only on hotspots and specific industries which risks losing the momentum and capacity gains made towards long-term practice change across all Reef catchment areas and industries.”
“In the future, balancing this approach with more holistic programs will ensure the ongoing legacy from the significant investments made in the GGBR’s project model.”
To read the GGBR project reports and see a full breakdown of its achievements, visit the QFF website: www.qff.org.au/projects/reef-alliance/growing-great-barrier-reef/.
The Reef Alliance Growing a Great Barrier Reef Project is funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust Program and facilitated by QFF.