LDC project boosts economy | Landholders Driving Change

LDC Project Manager Andrew Yates (left), Senior Grazing Field Officer Brendan Smith and Land Management Coordinator Rodger Walker (right)

LDC project to boost Bowen, Collinsville… and keep soil on the land

Tuesday 9 January 2018

  • The implementation phase of a large scale water quality and land improvement project that involves the Bowen and Collinsville communities to achieve long-term economic, social and environmental benefits starts this week.
  • The project will boost the local economy over the next few years by providing opportunities for locals to deliver services such as hiring and operating earthmoving machinery; land repair and environmental improvement; and farm based professional support.
  • NQ Dry Tropics is calling for Expression of Interest for these services today. Businesses have until Friday 9 February to lodge an EOI.  Refer to the NQ Dry Tropics website for a copy of the EOI documents.

EROSION is a big issue in the Dry Tropics of North Queensland. It causes valuable topsoil primarily from grazing lands to wash downstream, carrying fine sediment particles that reduce the amount of light needed by coral reefs and seagrass to grow and thrive.
NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change project aims to tackle erosion and improve land management, productivity and Reef water quality in the Burdekin region – and graziers have been helping to design solutions.
NQ Dry Tropics CEO Dr Scott Crawford said that Landholders Driving Change is focused on the high-priority Bowen, Broken, Bogie (BBB) catchment near Bowen and Collinsville, which produces almost a quarter of the total fine sediment load that ends up on the Reef.
“This project will deliver a flexible program of activities designed by local graziers and tailored to their needs,” Dr Crawford said.
“From the very start, we asked local graziers to get involved and put forward ideas about how to keep soil on the land and improve productivity.
“This project combines graziers’ knowledge with the latest scientific research. It will trial and develop solutions designed to remove the social, financial and technical barriers to practice change.
“These could include supporting graziers with extension and training, land rehabilitation, investigating incentives, and looking at ways to link landholders with policy makers to cut down on red tape.
“And because erosion isn’t just an issue for graziers, this project aims to involve all land managers in the BBB, including mines, utilities and government departments.
“For the first time, a project at this scale aims to work with a whole community to achieve long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.
“The Queensland Government officially approved the project plan at the end of August 2017, and since then we have been working hard to put in place the resources and support necessary to roll out the project over the next three years. This includes establishing an implementation team, with key staff located in our Bowen office.
“Our team will be visiting properties in the catchment this month to determine exactly how this project can support graziers to improve long-term land management and productivity,” Dr Crawford said.
The project will also boost the local economy over the next few years by providing opportunities for locals to deliver services such as hiring and operating earthmoving machinery; land repair and environmental improvement; and farm based professional support.
An Expression of Interest process opens this week. Go to the NQ Dry Tropics website www.nqdrytropics.com.au/expression-of-interest-eoi for a copy of the EOI documents. The offer period is for three years, to January 2020 and there is potential for suppliers to provide services for other NQ Dry Tropics projects. The EOI closes on 9 February.

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780

Published by two titlesCirculation - 9,965

 

 

 

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

Published in The Northern MinerCirculation - 2,041

Published in five titlesTotal circulation - 31,859

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8, 780

 

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780

 

 

 

 

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780

 

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.
Published by two titlesCirculation - 4,006

Published by one titleCirculation - 7,207