Glencore’s David Gullo.

NQ Dry Tropics’ LDC team members Sheyanne Frisby and Sheridan Callcott kept people hydrated, handing out bottled water throughout the day.

LDC BBB bus tour to view project progress

NQ Dry Tropics’ LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson welcomes guests to the BBB community bus tour.

Emohruo grazier Judy Fordham, left, and Dr Rebecca Bartley, research scientist, CSIRO Land and Water.

Bec Denniss, of First Person Consulting chats with Kath Kenny, of Dartmoor Station.

Mick Comerford, Exmoor, Buster O’Loughlin, LDC project panel member, of Exevale, and Jack O’Loughlin, of Exevale.

NQ Dry Tropics’ LDC MERI Officer Barb Colls

SEPTEMBER marked the halfway point for the LDC project. To showcase the project’s achievements, and to outline the next phase of activities, graziers and delivery partners toured the BBB.

The day provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss project progress, upcoming activities, and to share ideas and lessons learned about the project’s integrated and collaborative approach to deliver a suite of interventions and management efforts at a catchment scale to improve water quality and long-term sustainable land management.

A total of 35 participants, including graziers, scientists, engineering, mines and technical experts took part.

They visited the following sites:

  • Mt Wickham – the first stage of landscape rehabilitation has been completed 
  • Glenbowen –  on-ground large scale gully remediation works will start this month
  • Mt Pleasant –  has been established as a demonstrate site and learning hub to ground truth a wide range of management and landscape remediation techniques.

The day ended with ’Beef, Buckles & Boots’, a social event to thank the community for supporting the LDC project.

Christian, Darcy and Melissa Cormack, of Glenbowen, and LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson.

Whitsunday Regional Council’s Scott Hardy provides feedback of the community update day. All participants were asked for feedback as part of the LDC’s monitoring and evaluation program.

Discussing stage two works on Mt Wickham.

James Allen, of Neilly Group Engineering and principal partner on the Glenbowen gully remediation site (left), chats with Christian Cormack, of Glenbowen.

Inspecting stage one of the gully rehabilitation works at Mt Wickham.

Dr Rebecca Bartley, research scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, talks about the water quality monitoring program that CSIRO are conducting at Mt Wickham as part of the monitoring and evaluation program.

Glenn Dale, of ecological engineeering firm Verterra, a principal partner on the Mt Wickham landscape remediation project, provides an overview of the design and works on-ground.

Participants disembark at the Glenbowen project site, a large scale gully remediation project that is expected to be completed within the next two months.

Glencore’s David Gullo shares knowledge about landscape remediation methodologies on mine sites and principles transferrable to smaller scale sites.

Participants were provided an information package that contained project halfway updates on all aspects of the LDC project.

 

Walking onto the Mt Pleasant demonstration and learning hub site, a fenced 220ha production paddock located between the Bowen Developmental Road and the Collinsville railway line.

NQ Dry Tropics Rod Kerr is coordinating the Mt Pleasant Station demonstration site and community learning hub.

LDC’s Lisa Hutchinson, Eilis Walker, Sheyanne Frisby and Sheridan Callcott.

Lunch at the Bowen River Hotel, and participants heard about what Whitsunday Regioanl Council is doing to improve biosecurity and rural roads from Scott Hardy.

Grazier Glen Rea, Kirknie Station, provided an overview of his family business and his involvement with the LDC community water quality monitoring group.

Garlone Moulin, of Mt Pleasant, talks about management practices and biodviersity on the property.

Grazier Richard Colls and Verterra’s Glenn Dale.

Judy and Stan Fordham, of Emohruo.

 

 

Garlone Moulin, of Mt Pleasant, provides an overview of the Mt Pleasant business. She is flanked by Glen Rea, of Kirknie Station, (left), and Glenn Dale, of Verterra.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Rod Kerr explains the scope and aims of the Mt Pleasant Station demonstration site and community learning hub.

Glen Rea, of Kirknie, Errol Comerford, of Exmoor, and Darcy O’Loughlin, of Exevale.

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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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