Project Catalyst is a pioneering partnership between more than 70 innovative Queensland cane growers and major program partners – Reef Catchments, Terrain Natural Resource Management, NQ Dry Tropics, the Australian Government, WWF and The Coca-Cola Foundation.


Forums, which are held every year, rotate between Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. This year, 2019, the forum was held in Cairns.

The project aims to support sugarcane growers and to promote groundbreaking farm practices that improve water quality from sugarcane farms impacting the Great Barrier Reef.

Virtual farm tour – improving soil health in wet tropics

Integrating animals into cane farming

Virtual farm tour – biological stimulants

Key Focus

Project Catalyst has a focus on the improvement of water quality from agricultural catchments that flow into the Great Barrier Reef. The program works directly with innovative farmers to trial and validate their farm management practices, Project Catalyst supports and promotes practical solutions to increase water use efficiency, prevention of runoff, reduced application of nutrients and pesticides, as well as better management of soils.

Network Support

Project Catalyst supports a network of Mackay Whitsunday, Burdekin, and Wet Tropics farmers who lead the way in the use of cutting-edge management practices for a more sustainable and productive farming future.


Major Water Quality Benefits

Project Catalyst growers have provided major water quality benefits to the Great Barrier Reef by significantly reducing the level of sediment and chemical runoff from farms through the adoption of innovative and improved farm practices. Over a period of five years from 2008 to 2014 the following decreases were recorded:

  • Reduction of particulate nitrogen by 25 tonnes per annum
  • Reduction of particulate phosphorus by 12 tonnes per annum
  • Reduction of dissolved inorganic nitrogen by 22 tonnes per annum
  • Reduction of filterable reactive phosphorus by 4 tonnes per annum
  • Reduction of pesticides leaving the farm by 190 kg per annum


People in paddock.

Key Contact

Andrew Campbell.


Mobile: 0408 875 633
Telephone: 07 4968 4232