The Reef Rescue program is a five year, $200 million investment by the Australian Government under its Caring for Our Country initiative. This initiative, takes a coordinated approach to restoring the health of Australia’s environment and building on improved land management practices.
Reef Rescue aims to improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon by increasing the adoption of land management practices that reduce the run-off of nutrients, chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides and sediments from agricultural land.
The majority of Reef Rescue funds are allocated to Water Quality Incentive Grants to support voluntary action by farmers and land managers in catchments draining to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
Who is involved
The Australian Government funds Reef Rescue projects through a collaborative partnership between regional natural resource management groups and peak agricultural industry bodies. The partnership aims to promote the uptake of land management practices that increase the sustainability of farming and work toward reducing sediment, nutrient and pesticide losses from paddocks.
Reef Rescue partners are:
- Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management
- Fitzroy Basin Association
- Reef Catchments
- NQ Dry Tropics
- Terrain NRM
- Cape York Sustainable Futures
- Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation
The network is supported by Queensland Regional NRM Groups’ Collective and Queensland Farmers Federation.
To keep up to date with Reef Rescue stories and activities sign up for our quarterly Reef Rescue Newsletter via the sign up box on the right.
Enquiries about Reef Rescue can be directed to one of the organisations listed above, or by contacting us.
Farmers and graziers working to improve land management practices in the Great Barrier Reef water catchment areas were last night recognised for their efforts during the inaugural Reef Rescue awards held in Cairns.
Presented by the Queensland Regional NRM Groups Collective and the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, the farmers and graziers receiving the top awards represent just a handful of those working hard to reduce the environmental impact on and potential damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Continue Reading…
THE Queensland Farmers’ Federation and the Regional NRM Groups Collective today congratulated the inaugural farmer and grazier winners of the Reef Rescue Awards, unveiled at a ceremony in Cairns this evening (Thursday May 9).
The top achieving farmers have been recognised for their outstanding achievements through involvement in the Reef Rescue program, by completing on farm projects that deliver substantial environmental outcomes and also improve farm productivity.
Grains Best Management Practices (BMP) program is helping farmers get the best out of their equipment, for more efficiently produced grains and great environmental gains.
Grain growers like Carmel and Kevin O’Keeffe who own and run Wallalee, a 3925 hectare mixed grazing and grains enterprise near Emerald are discovering they can vastly improve the performance of their spray equipment, resulting in less time spent in the field, less wasted chemicals and reduced run-off into local waterways.
A Burdekin grazier couple who installed fencing the equivalent of the distance between Ayr and Townsville have taken out a prestigious national award.
NQ Dry Tropics, the Burdekin Dry Tropics natural resource management company, nominated Glenalpine Station couple Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan for the 2013 Reef Rescue Grazier Award after they transformed the layout of their cattle grazing land. Continue Reading…
Geoff Downie, a dairy farmer in the embattled Monto district of the North Burnett has won the Reef Rescue Dairy award, a project financed by the Burnett Mary Regional Group through the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country funding scheme.
It’s great to be given recognition by this award – it feels good to know that framers are being appreciated for improving farming technology,” Mr Downie said.
Considered an innovator in the industry, Marian cane farmer and award finalist Rodney Lamb has a history of adapting and trialling new equipment to increase environmental and economic benefits for growers. Through the Reef Rescue program Rod has been working with Mackay Productivity Services and local NRM Reef Catchments to adapt his inter row spray shields to only spray when there is a weed detected by a sensor nozzle, in what is known as a WeedSeeker. This adaptation has huge potential to reduce herbicide applied over cane properties and the knowledge gained through Rod’s work will be shared by the industry as a whole.
David and Adele O’Connor of Springsure property “Mountain View” have been awarded the Reef Rescue award in the grain category for their outstanding work through the program.
Mountain View has been in the family for 127 years and sits South of the Springsure watershed of the Comet and Nogoa River Catchments with several creeks originating in the area. The O’Connor’s have reduced the amount of nutrients, sediment and chemicals flowing into these creeks and improved their bottom line by introducing a grazing and cropping management regime that rests pastures and improves pasture-cropping practices.
A banana farmer at Mission Beach in the Wet Tropics region of Far North Queensland has been awarded the top prize in the horticulture category of the inaugural Reef Rescue Awards.
Winner Ian Barnes had already made significant farming improvements on the family farm using his own funds but with the help of a well-timed Reef Rescue grant in 2011 (Cyclone Yasi wiped out their entire crop and destroyed their shed in February of that year), Ian was able to make further changes which improved both his soil and nutrient management, thereby reducing the risk of run-off from the property.
The Reef Water Quality Protection Plan is a joint initiative of the Australian and Queensland Governments. Its Secretariat produces a regular newsletter. The January edition of that newsletter includes updates on Reef Rescue, tools for landholders, the Scientific Consensus Statement update, Paddock to Reef, Project Catalyst and case studies from across the Reef regions. You can view the newsletter or subscribe online here.
The Dairying Better ‘N Better team is showcasing a range of the industry’s successful Reef Rescue projects through a new YouTube channel.
The videos showcase the high level of work undertaken by farmers along the Queensland coast and highlight the high value of the projects – both to the environment through improved water quality and to farms and farmers via improved management.
The channel has already had hundreds of views and the Dairying Better ‘N Better team (which is a partnership between the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation and Subtropical Dairy) sees it as an effective means of telling the good stories associated with Reef Rescue and general dairy farmer stewardship of the land.