In 2008 the Australian Government invested $200 million in the five year Reef Rescue program addressing the impacts of declining water quality and ultimately increasing the capacity of the Great Barrier Reef to deal with climate change. Reef Rescue focuses on improving land management practices to reduce nutrient, pesticide and sediment run-off from agricultural land. Reef Rescue has now entered a second five year cycle and is now known as the Reef Programme.
Reef Programme (formerly Reef Rescue), focuses on improved property management and planning for future farm success. Landholders are provided with the tools and expertise they need to plan for increases in long-term productivity and probability.
Over the next five years, $200 million of funding for selected activities across the Great Barrier Reef has been provided by the Australian Government. In the Mackay and Whitsunday region, funds are being distributed and delivered in partnership with Reef Catchments and local partners.
Opportunities for Cane Growers and Graziers
Landholders will be provided with resources to support more effective and profitable long-term farm management. Participation in the Stage 2 planning phase gives landholders more control and a clearer vision for their farm’s future, including nutrient and chemical management for cost-savings.
Landholders can access the following activities at no cost, with funding supplied over a three-year period:
- EC mapping
- Soil testing (above regulated requirements)
- Development of an ongoing Nutrient and Chemical Management Plan, tailored specifically to the property and landscape
- Development of a total Property Management Plan to evaluate current operations and to identify methods and opportunity to raise productivity and profitability levels
- Direct one-on-one consultation time with experienced agricultural consultants for planning and extension support
- $500 for initial precision agriculture planning improvements – e.g. nozzles/ new tank
Following completion of a relevant Property Management Plan, landholders will be supported to apply for a second round of water quality grants to potentially fund further on-ground activities and resources (e.g) machinery.