Paddock to Reef

The Paddock to Reef program, which is supported by both the Queensland and Australian governments, is designed at the regional scale to collect new information on the adoption and relative effectiveness of farm management practices. The information collected is used directly in the annual Reef Water Quality Protection Plan report card as well as for input data for catchment models.

Reef Catchments has facilitated implementation and reporting on the sugarcane paddock and sub catchment scale water quality experiments at North Eton for more than four years with technical reports for each year.

Australian Government Reef Programme

The Australian Government Reef Programme (formerly Reef Rescue) provides grants to individual landholder projects and industry wide projects that aim to improve water quality from sugarcane and grazing production systems.

The initial five year Reef Rescue program was a great success in Mackay where 1286 individual water quality improvement projects were undertaken with 942 land managers. The Reef Rescue program contributed $32,480,973 into the Reef Catchments region with our local land managers and industry contributing a total of $88,085,029. These projects focus on improving agricultural land management practices relating to soil, herbicide, and nutrient management with sugarcane growers, graziers, and horticulturalists. Thanks to the high level support by land holders the results from the first five years of this program were tremendous.

Through the new Australian Government Reef Programme, Reef Catchments is currently managing a new round of Water Quality Improvement Grants which are available to sugarcane growers and to graziers. These include an innovation research and planning component as well as extensive work in systems repair.

Project Catalyst

Project Catalyst supports innovative sugarcane growers through a pioneering partnership between Reef Catchments, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and WWF with support from the Australian Government Reef Rescue program.

During the last five years Project Catalyst has expanded from the original 19 growers to 33 growers in the Mackay Whitsunday region along with 20 growers in the Wet Tropics region, and 20 growers in the Burdekin region. Through the validation and adoption of improved practices by 73 sugarcane growers, managing more than 20,345 ha of cane land, the water quality of more than 101,725 mega litres of run-off and drainage water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef, has been improved.

Grower Gerry Deguara demonstrates the kind of innovation Project Catalyst supports in this video about his mill mud spreader.

Key Contact

Peter Albertson.
P (07) 4968 4215
M 0419 191 373
E Peter Albertson


Project Catalyst
Landcare – Reef Catchments works closely with the three regional Landcare groups to role out projects, support land holders and enhance the natural landscape of our beautiful region. Key programs look at pest and weed management.
Pioneer Catchment and Landcare group
Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association
Whitsunday Catchment Landcare