Reef report card

Check out the latest reports on the Great Barrier Reef The latest reports on Great Barrier Reef water quality are available.  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published the 2019 Reef Outlook Report, examining the Reef’s health, pressures, and likely...

Reef, vegetation rules

Graziers, officials from the Department of Environment and Science, Landholders Driving Change team members at the first regulations meeting convened at the Grandview Hotel, Bowen, by the Office of the Great Barrier Reef to discuss the minimum standards for the...

Policy roundtable

Susan Vail, Salisbury Plains (left), with Elisa Nichols, Department of Environment and Science (DES). Second policy roundtable a chance to influence decision makersLDC will host a policy roundtable in Townsville in the New Year.  This will be the second round table to...

Low Stress workshop

Bec Clapperton, Salisbury Plains. Jim Lindsay explaining how to observe cattle moving in the yards, and how best to handle them in a calm way. Low stress handling: keep calm and move them on SIXTEEN landholders attended a two-day low stress stock handling school at...

Herd performance

Dr Ian Braithwaite explains the theory behind how to readily identify highly productive females within the herd and retain ideal breeders and offspring for future replacement heifer selection. Breeder Management and Preg Testing Training.2-day workshop, 25 – 26...


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.
KEQ #8

KEQ #7
KEQ #6

KEQ #5

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 #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 #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