Summary of progress
The Gregory River flows from Dryander National Park to the Declared Fish Habitat and Dugong Protection Area of Edgecumbe Bay. The catchment supports a diverse suite of land uses with 70% under cane, grazing and horticulture while 30% remains uncleared. Recent peri-urban development has replaced some production land.
In 2007, the water quality and ecological health of the Gregory River catchment area was rated as moderate relative to other catchment areas in the Mackay Whitsunday region. Between 2007 and 2013, there has been considerable investment to improve agricultural and ecosystem management. As a result, the water quality and ecosystem health of the Gregory River catchment area has improved. The progress to date provides an excellent foundation for continued effort focusing on priority actions that ensure the Gregory River provides water quality that meets the needs of the local communities.
Grazing and cane management practices that reduce particulate phosphorous loads are the highest priority in the Gregory River catchment. Management practices that reduce other nutrients and residual herbicides are a moderate priority.
System repair actions for flow, instream habitat, riparian vegetation and weed control are the highest priority. A significant increase in investment towards active management and restoration of instream habitat and riparian vegetation is required to enable fish communities to gain the maximum benefits from the improved water quality.