NQ Dry Tropics

Curbing $80 million bill for feral pig damage

Feral pigs cost north Queensland more than $80 million last financial year. They ate our crops, killed our livestock and spread deadly diseases. NQ Dry Tropics has launched a series of free resources to help North Queenslanders catch and control the Feral Pig. The practical resources come as a series of in-depth handbooks and a video showing real locals having real results in the fight against this pest in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region.  Continue Reading…

Continuing the war on weeds in the Dry Tropics

Craig Melville needs a lot of room to move. His seven hectare Alligator Creek property is home to bulls, ponies, ducks, goats, chickens, llama, alpaca, a camel, water buffalo, sheep, calves and dogs, just to name a few.

The lush green pastures on the outskirts of Townsville are the headquarters of North Queensland’s renowned travelling children’s amusement show, Melville’s Farm.

But in 2012, alarm bells began to ring when Craig’s animals were being forced to compete for space with a huge weed infestation.  Continue Reading…

More than 1.2 million hectares declared Indigenous Protected in North QLD

NQ Dry Tropics is joining Traditional Owners to celebrate the declaration of more than 1.2 million hectares between Mission Beach and Ingham under the Girringun Region Indigenous Protected Areas (GRIPA) Management Plan.

The declaration is the culmination of years of hard work by the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and will guide Traditional Owners to look after the region’s natural resources and cultural heritage.

Continue Reading…

Burdekin graziers win national award

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…

Keeping soil on farms and out of rivers

Life as a primary producer isn’t easy, no matter where you live. For primary producers in the dry tropics however, there are some unique challenges.

Dry tropics producers may endure long periods without rain and when it does arrive, it comes in monsoonal downpours. A big wet season can destroy fencing, remove topsoil and cause the loss of nutrients and seeds.

As Sustainable Agriculture Officer, Josh Schwarz, says, “Those soils represent your earning potential because pastures love to grow in them. Soil erosion leaves subsoils behind and unfortunately, the subsoils in our region are often of poor quality and they dissolve easily.”

That’s why helping farmers minimise sediment loss and maximise water quality is a priority for NQ Dry Tropics. NQ Dry Tropics staff meet station owners, listen to their plans and try to work with them to achieve their goals.

“All landholders have a dozen things they’d love to establish on their property if money wasn’t a limiting factor. It might be fencing, it might be returning vegetation to a stream bank or restoring soil health. If we can help them, we do,” Josh says.

Staff work with landholders by providing technical expertise, extension activities, training and grants. Landholders are consulted throughout and projects are tailored for each property.

We’ve been here for 20 odd years and we’ve always wanted to improve our fencing and water infrastructure so we can better manage our pastures. NQ Dry Tropics has made this feasible and we’re really happy with the result and the input we’ve received.

Wayne Shadforth, Lincoln Springs Station

Water Monitoring across the Galilee Basin

The Desert Channels Group (DCG) have recently embarked on an important project to ensure the continued high standard of water quality in the region. Surface water monitoring is happening at a number of locations in the Galilee Basin.

“The regular collection of water samples at some of the most important river systems in the Desert Channels, North Queensland Dry Tropics and Southern Gulf regions will help to determine baseline information about the quality of the water in our rivers” said Christine O’Brien, DC Solutions Project Manager.

Continue Reading…

To till or not to till, that is the question

Thanks to funding from the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue Initiative and support from NQ Dry Tropics, north Queensland sugarcane farmer Stephen Lando now knows the answer.

For the past six years, Stephen and his team have been learning how to grow cane with minimal environmental impact and maximum productivity.

One of the ways they’ve learned to improve water quality and reduce carbon emissions while at the same time reducing operating costs, minimising labour and maintaining high productivity is through a process called minimum tillage. Continue Reading…

Passion, environment and lifestyle lures young land stewards

The future is bright for the Deguara family, a Mackay Whitsunday sugar cane family who not only works the land, but has expansion of their operations on the cards with a strong focus on improving the environment.

Sugarcane grower Gerry Deguara heavily involves his two sons, Sam and Joe, in his farming operations. Based in the Reef Catchments area of Mackay Whitsunday, Gerry says a key ingredient to keeping younger growers interested in being land stewards is to offer a bit more of a challenge. Environmental issues certainly makes this possible with a great effort into improving their soil, irrigation, chemical and nutrient to improve water quality through their participation on ‘Project Catalyst’, a project with partners including NRM groups Reef Catchments, NQ Dry Tropics, Terrain in addition to the Coca-Cola Foundation, WWF and the Australian Government through the Caring for our Country’s Reef Rescue program. Continue Reading…

Outdoor classroom hosts new biodiversity lessons

Students at Thuringowa State High School are the first to try out a new biodiversity learning initiative that’s allowing them to get up close and personal with some scaly and furry friends.

NQ Dry Tropics has developed ‘Healthy Habitats for Schools’ to enable schools to meet new Education Queensland curriculum requirements relating to the management of grounds and the teaching of biodiversity concepts. Continue Reading…

Reef Rescue grants secure water for the long term

Collinsville grazier Brett Stagg knows the value of water.

While the past season has been good, Brett’s number one priority is to secure water for the long-term.

While acknowledging it as no small task to organise water for his 6620 hectare property, Mr Stagg said he has been greatly assisted by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country Reef Rescue initiative and encouraged other graziers to investigate on-ground grants this new financial year.

Continue Reading…