Lindsay Mackie, Collinsville Depot WRC Works Supervisor contributes to the discussion during a workshop

Workshop facilitator David Donohue leads the discussion

Finding common ground: engaging with

non-grazing land managers

THE LDC team is engaging with non-grazing land managers to help them get involved with the project. Two forums were held in Eungella and Collinsville last month and those present overwhelming supported to work more closely with landholders in the BBB catchment.

Through a participatory process, the LDC project is engaging with non-grazing land managers to get involved with the project in ways that will support a culture of stewardship that enables all land managers (grazing and non-grazing) to be effective custodians of the land.

Two forums were held last month, in Eungella and Collinsville, to provide an opportunity for these land managers to come up with ideas on how they could work collaboratively in the BBB catchment.

Representatives from Ergon Energy, Powerlink, Glencore, Whitsunday Regional Council, and machinery operators attended the forums.  Utility providers who were unable to attend but have expressed an interest to be part of the process, includes Sunwater, Aurizon, Collinsville Solar Farm.

Key ideas discussed at the forums:

  • Establish a set of standards for common erosion mitigation techniques that apply to all stakeholders “because it helps us all” and “supports a culture of stewardship”
  • Establish a monetary value on the “whole system”, that is a value per kilogram of soil, and on the BBB’s natural assets
  • Plan on ground works with input from graziers
  • Hold community education days (including field walks and workshops)  
  • Hold round tables with government and grazier representatives on legislation and policies that could impede on ground delivery of best practice on erosion and sediment control in the BBB catchment
  • Develop a centralised communication hub for all land managers in the BBB to create awareness of stakeholders planned works and activities in the BBB
  • Facilitate access to technical expertise and peer input
  • Facilitate understanding of legislative requirements each stakeholder operates within
  • Coordinate collaborative actions for on-ground works and joint activities to inform the BBB community about what each stakeholder does in the BBB
  • Provide a safe place to bring up and respond to issues and concerns

Key actions from the forums:

  • A survey has been developed and forwarded to the non-grazing land managers in the BBB to establish the level of engagement each organisation would like to take part.
  • The LDC team is investigating how best to develop a communication hub to provide a platform for information exchange and shared learning.
  • The LDC team is also investigating existing minimum standards of practice for erosion sediment control to identify opportunity to develop a whole of BBB catchment approach to manage erosion sediment control.

Anatol Stremouchiw
EIM Pipeline Supervisor – Northern

“It was a learning outcome for me. The meeting was interesting and allowed participants to find out who the other stakeholders were in the catchment and what the bigger picture visions are for the LDC project.

I have a good understanding now of where we fit in and what our role can be as one of the “other land managers” in the BBB.

Everyone appears to be interested in actually finding out what best practice is for the region and sharing the knowledge they have”

North Queensland Gas Pipeline

  • A 391km onshore natural gas pipeline system, transporting gas from the Moranbah Gas Project in the Bowen Basin to power and industrial uses in Townsville.  This pipeline goes through a number of properties located in the BBB catchment.
  • Constructed and commissioned by Enertrade in 2004 with an expected life of 50 years.
  • The pipeline is managed by EIM, an independent operator owned by AGL and Arrow.

Anatol Stremouchiw, EIM Pipeline Supervisor – Northern with LDC’s Lisa Hutchinson at the workshop

Jessica Szalinski, Glencore, at a workshop problem-solving session

More heads, more ideas

THE LDC team believes a participatory effort that involves representation of as many stakeholders in the BBB catchment as possible has a number of advantages:

  • It puts more ideas on the table than would be the case if the development and implementation of the effort were confined to a small group.
  • It includes varied perspectives from all sectors and the BBB community affected, therefore  giving a clearer picture of the community context and potential pitfalls and assets.
  • It gains buy-in and support for the effort from all stakeholders by making them an integral part of the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of LDC project aims.
  • It’s fair to everyone. All stakeholders can have a say in the development of an effort that may affect them.
  • It saves the BBB community from being blindsided by concerns that it didn’t know about. If everyone has a seat at the table, concerns can be aired and resolved before they become stumbling blocks.  Even if they can’t be resolved, they won’t come as surprises that derail the effort.
  • It strengthens the community’s position. Having all stakeholders on board makes a huge difference in terms of political clout.
  • It creates bridging social capital for the community. Social capital can cement relationships and strengthen community.  Bridging social capital can create connections among diverse groups that might not otherwise interact.
  • It increases the chances for the success of stakeholders effort. For all of the above reasons, identifying stakeholders and responding to their concerns makes it far more likely that effort will have both the community support it needs and the appropriate focus to be effective.

Ergon Team Leader Peter Gorrie with LDC Senior Project Officer Lisa Hutchinson

Jessica Szalinski, Glencore, (left) and Penelope Davis, Glencore, with (from left) Lindsay Mackie, WRC Works Supervisor Collinsville Depot and WRC Manager Natural Resources Management Scott Hardy


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

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