Ladies Mach II | Landholders Driving Change

Branch manager of the Bowen PCYC Sergeant Michelle O’Regan (in the yellow-highlighted frame) delivers her address during the LDC virtual women’s networking event. Pictured are (top row, from left) guest speaker Belinda Callanan, TH9 Outdoor Services; NQ Dry Tropics’ Adrienne Hall, Sheridan Callcott and Cherry Emerick; (second row, from left), Michelle, Garlone Moulin, Gail Russell, and Natalie Comerford; (third row, from left), Siobahn Scott, Stephanie Tudehope, Leanne O’Sullivan and Julie Muirhead; (bottom row, from left), guest speaker Julie Mayne, Tracy Martin, Sheree Heatley and Regan Ellrott.

Ladies of the Land virtual conference proves popular

LDC’s second women’s networking event was a virtual success with 17 women joining the online conference that featured three key speakers.

The forum provided an opportunity for women to directly connect to discuss the diverse and complex experiences and challenges that women face in the regions. 

It also provided a platform to acknowledge women whose hard work, on and off the farm, significantly contributes to the development and success of their communities. 

The event was aimed at developing an ongoing platform for rural women in the Bowen and Collinsville areas that addresses relevant topics of interests and issues, education and training.

There were three informative guest speakers:

  • Belinda Callanan — Company director, Senior trainer, and consultant for TH9 Outdoor Services;
  • Julie Mayne — Grazier, Mayne Pastoral, Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) and Ag Interest Group;
  • Sergeant Michelle O’Regan — Branch manager, Bowen PCYC.

Belinda Callanan.

Julie Mayne.

Michelle O’Regan.

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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

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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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