Grants available to improve production, land management

Grants, technical and industry expertise are available to help graziers develop infrastructure to support land management changes to improve productivity and water quality outcomes.

Bowen Broken Bogie (BBB) catchment graziers are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to improve grazing land management for productivity and water quality outcomes.

Projects focus on delivering a reduction of fine sediment into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Projects also focus on implementing best management grazing techniques to improve and maintain groundcover at the end of the dry season.

Sediment savings are determined using the recently released Sediment Projector Tool and the savings will depend on the specific practices implemented by the landholder. See story (right), for further information about the Sediment Projector Tool.

Land management actions to improve productivity and land condition include:

  • fencing and water distribution to better control grazing and improve land condition;
  • installation of whoa boys to reduce erosion on tracks;
  • water distribution infrastructure and water points to control grazing pressure and enable grazing land management change that take pressure off natural water features;
  • permanent paddock fencing to manage pastures or specific erosion features;
  • permanent riparian fencing to protect high-value wetland and waterway areas; and
  • temporary fencing with or without cattle exclusion to improve land condition.

A wide range of knowledge and skill-building training is available when you get involved in a project.  

We want to make the application process as straight forward as possible. 

An LDC team member will help graziers complete the application and advise on applicable land management actions to meet the assessment criteria laid out by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. 


 

New watering points help graziers gain more control over grazing pressure.

Whoa boys help direct and slow the flow of run-off so it can permeate soil, retaining moisture for longer and grow more pasture.

Smaller paddocks give graziers more options to better manage their grazing regime.

Projector Tool guides projects

LDC  uses the Paddock to Reef Projector Tool to help assess and refine Grazing Land Management (GLM) projects for water quality benefits.

The projector tool has been in use for a while, but the component for grazing land management sediment projections has only recently been released. The tool helps predict the water quality benefits of property-scale improvement projects in Great Barrier Reef catchments.

It helps LDC prioritise the higher-modelled areas of greater fine sediment discharge from the BBB and to ensure water quality funding is directed towards projects that achieve cost effective and scalable fine sediment savings.

The Queensland Government Paddock to Reef (P2R) questions have been integrated into the GLM sediment calculator, allowing for an assessment of pre and post grazing management practices contributing to the risk of fine sediment being washed from the properties.

LDC Grazing Officers are now able to run projects through the tool to get an indication if they are going to meet minimum standards and contribute a cost-effective fine sediment return to the project. 

If graziers have multiple projects they want to complete, these can be assessed and a balance between the graziers’ priorities and water quality outcomes achieved. 

The tool will operate in parallel with the streambank and gully toolboxes.

We can now also report grazing practice change that occurs without LDC co-investment, to ensure the effort graziers are putting in to improving the condition of water running off their property is properly captured and fine sediment savings attributed to the sub-region.

 

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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