Major Grants

Major Grants - Incentives for Growers within the target catchments in adopting practice change that will benefit both their farming operations and water quality outcomes.


The Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program (MWWQP) is part of the larger Reef Trust Partnership Water Quality Program between the Australian Government and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

This four-year program aims to achieve an enduring reduction in the long-term end of catchment pesticide and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) loads from the priority Plane Creek, Pioneer River, Proserpine and O’Connell catchments, and improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

This support is provided by a pool of major grant funds that are made available for growers working with MWWQP delivery providers, and those that are not engaged in the program but are Best Management Practice (BMP) accredited.

To date, the Major Grants project has funded 40 projects for growers in the region, and with two years remaining, the Program is on track to achieve an enduring reduction in pesticide risk toxicity and Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) loads from the Mackay and Whitsunday region.

Examples of funded equipment

    1. Sub-surface nutrient applicators
    2. Stool splitter
    3. Equipment for improved placement of grub control:
      1. Legume planter
      2. Variable rate and GPS systems

Other types of equipment may still be eligible so please contact us or your delivery provider to discuss your options.


Applicants applying for funding are required to meet the following criteria:

    • The grower project must be within the Plane Creek, Pioneer River, Proserpine or O’Connell Catchments.

    • The applicant must be an accredited BMP grower or a part of a Delivery Provider under the MWWQP project.

    • The growers project must demonstrate a water quality improvement outcome in end of catchment DIN and/or pesticide load, identified through Paddock to Reef benchmarking.

    • Grant applications must include a minimum 50% cash co-contribution.

    • Grower project activities must be completed within 12 months or the program completion date (whichever comes first).

    • Must be a legal entity with an ABN.

    • Successful applicants must enter into a Recipient Grant Agreement with Reef Catchments and accept the conditions of the Recipient Grant Agreement, which will be a legally binding document.

    • There are benchmarking and monitoring of practice change activities that are a requirement of the major grants program.

    • Growers must be willing to participate in the social indicator, Paddock to Reef, and other surveys to measure the project’s contribution to water quality improvement.


    • Grants will not be available for the same project activities that have already started, or for equipment that has already been purchased prior to a major grant application being assessed and approved. This includes equipment that has been ordered prior to the major grant application being assessed and approved.

    • Grants will not be available for practice changes or equipment previously funded under other water quality programs.

    • Grants are not available to fund irrigation practice change.

Useful Links

Delivery Providers and Productivity Board

Partner Logos: Maps, Farmacist, Liquaforce, Plane Creek Productivity Servies