In 2018 Reef Catchments was funded to work with landholders and local stakeholders in the Jane’s Creek Catchment as a part of the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program to improve water quality to the Reef. The project, Janes Creek land impact contributors teaming to achieve whole of system water quality improvements in the Mackay region, was funded through until the end of the 2021 to support landholders to adopt improved land management practices and to also increase understanding on water quality and the link between management practices, application of farm inputs and the resulting water quality running off after rainfall events.
Janes Creek catchment is a unique, dynamic system crossing from the rural farming zone into the urban Mackay City zone and Gooseponds area. Landholders place much importance on ensuring that farming in the catchment is carried out to best practices for a sustainable diversified ecosystem. Currently, there are eight cane farmers, four contract harvest operators and four graziers who are directly involved in this project.
Reef Catchments works as the project manager to engage with commercial-scale operators to work collectively towards improvement of the quality of catchment water.
The RCL Grazing Project Officer will work with the Janes Creek graziers to assist with property planning and to provide advice on ways to improve the quality of runoff water. MAPS will work with the Janes Creek cane growers and contract harvesters to provide an extension to reduce the risk of nutrient, pesticides, and sediment loss.
Landholders will monitor water quality outcomes within the catchment.
Due to the success of the original Janes Creek project that concluded in June 2020, Reef Catchments was successful in negotiating ongoing funding from the Department of Environment and Science to continue on-ground activities and monitoring in the Janes Creek catchment until June 2021. These activities include:
- Water quality monitoring including autosampler, urban, on-farm treatment train, landholder sampling and demonstration sites.
- Two grazing incentives grants.
- Demonstration sites of legume fallow, banded pesticide application and banded mill mud application, and their effects on quality of runoff water.
- Agtrix data recording software being made available to participating cane growers.
- Ongoing newsletters, water quality reporting and meetings with participating landholders.
Landholder involvement has been the key to the project’s success and we thank all participants for their continued support.
This is a current project.