The first year done… and thank

you for your support

The end of year is always a good time to reflect and 2018 has been a busy year.

This year the priority has been getting BBB graziers involved with the project and aware of the opportunities on offer.

Property visits by field officers, together with targeted events such as workshops and field days, have built local interest with 65 per cent of the grazing community engaging with the LDC project.

These engagement activities have also been a platform for graziers to voice opinions individually, and on behalf of their industry.  Large-scale gully remediation works started this year and several suitable locations for gully remediation works have been identified with works to be carried out in 2019.

The project has also:

  • Offered potential incentives to help landholders adopt better land management practices;
  • Ensured landholders are aware of available erosion management tools and education opportunities; and
  • Focused on identifying and addressing some of the barriers to adopting practice change, such as issues around labour, equipment, technical expertise, regulation and governance.

Landholders have also been encouraged to join, or form, a cluster group, supported by extension staff, where they can share resources and discuss their goals for improving their land and the quality of water of waterways.

I am proud of the way the LDC project team has worked alongside the project panel and BBB community to deliver on all these activities.

It’s fair to say the LDC project has faced a number of challenges, however, from these we have learnt, adapted, made changes, and still delivered on milestones. For me, this is what LDC is about, learning, improving and sharing knowledge for everyone’s benefit.

The next 12 months promises to be just as busy.  We will continue to engage with graziers through a wide range of activities.  We will establish demonstration sites with our delivery parties that showcase a wide range of land management practices, and demonstration sites that will explore cost effectiveness of landscape remediation – hoping to find that sweet spot between cost and benefit.

The team will continue to work with other land managers, facilitate landholder engagement in relevant policy development and implementation in the BBB catchment, and work closely with landholders to investigate a range of approaches that reward good practice.

The end of the year is also a time to thank people for their valued contribution to the project and there is a big crowd to thank.

Thank you to the LDC team members for their tireless efforts, to members of the steering committee for their honesty and feedback,  to our delivery partners (the consortium), and to the service providers working with us.

A special thank you to members of the project panel for providing strategic and management oversight,  who have made massive contributions through their feedback and advice to ensure the LDC project delivers.

Finally, a big thank you to the whole BBB community –  the past year has been challenging and rewarding.

Thank you for your willingness to engage, share your knowledge and expertise, and for working with the LDC team to achieve positive outcomes for the BBB grazing community.

— ANDREW YATES, Project Manager Landholders Driving Change project

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KEQ #1

Figure 1. Total fine sediment reduction by project type and erosion source. Inset shows the proportion of the total project area for each project type.

These estimates have been calculated using two methods: 

1) The pollutant reduction component of the Alluvium/Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) investment tool for hillslope and streambank erosion management projects; 

2) The Reef Trust Gully Toolbox method for gully erosion management projects. The LDC Water Quality Report 2020 (Waterhouse et al., 2020) highlights that a number of assumptions underlay these calculations, therefore these figures should be treated as the best available estimate of sediment reductions to date.

Preventing sediment from reaching the Great Barrier Reef

Each wet season sediment is washed into local waterways and out to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 

Most sediment is very fine, and can stay suspended for a long time and can travel great distances. Valuable topsoil is lost from production, and increased concentrations on the reef can be harmful to seagrasses and corals. 

Landholders in the BBB have completed 69 on-ground water quality practice changes, and it is estimated that these have contributed a fine sediment reduction of 6,154 tonnes per year from reaching the GBR. 

Of this, approximately half of the sediment savings are attributable to grazing land management changes on hillslopes and streambanks, and the other half as a result of gully remediation treatments across a broad range of scales, as shown in the graphs above. 

The table below also highlights the relatively small area of intervention in the gully management projects compared to the large sediment savings that these can achieve - 60 per cent of the sediment savings over only 4 per cent of the project area.

Table 1. Estimated sediment reductions (tonnes) from projects completed in the LDC Project to date.

KEQ #2

*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

KEQ #3

*The Exploring New Incentives activity area has provided an opportunity for graziers to adopt improved land management practices through a range of activities. For some of these properties, it was the first time they signed contracts for on-ground works.

KEQ #4

The LDC project monitors four gully sites (represented in this table) with gold standard equipment and analysis, carried out by CSIRO.

Results have been compiled in a preliminary report from Bartley et al (2020), with the final report expected to be released by the end of 2020. The preliminary report shows all four sites have indicators of improvements, notably the Strathbogie and Mt Wickham sites.

KEQ #5

KEQ #6

KEQ #7
KEQ #8

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Reef regulations - grazing, standard conditions

  1. For land in good or fair condition (more than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), continue using measures to maintain land condition.
  2. For land in poor condition (less than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition.
  3. For land in degraded condition (less than 20 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition OR prevent areas from further degrading or expanding.
  4. Keep records of measures taken and also of agricultural chemicals, fertiliser and mill mud or mill ash applied to land.
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