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Landholders
Driving
Change

A Burdekin Major Integrated project

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LCAT

December 2020

THE LDC project aligns with State and Federal Government priorities to deliver measurable improvements in water quality for the Great...

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About the LDC project

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.

Landholders Driving Change is a Burdekin Major Integrated Project funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program

The LDC team

 

Project Director
CEO NQ Dry Tropics
Dr Scott Crawford
Acting Project Manager
Rod Kerr
Land Management
Support Coordinator
Rodger Walker 
Grazing
Team Leader
Mick Shannon
Senior Grazing
Support Officer
Adrienne Hall
Grazing Support
Officer
Sheridan Callcott
Senior Project Officer
Cherry Emerick
MERI Officer
Barbara Colls
Program Support Officer
Tanya Magor

 

BBB Grazier Support

 

More than 90 per cent of land in the BBB is used for grazing. The BBB Grazier Support program aims to provide all local graziers with education, training, technical support and incentives to help them adopt improved land management practices.

Landscape Remediation

 

Gully erosion causes approximately 65 per cent of the fine sediment load that comes from the BBB. The Landscape Remediation program aims to develop fast, effective and economical approaches to gully remediation.

Influencing Other Land Managers

This program will encourage non-graziers who manage, or use land in the BBB to get involved with the project so it can truly be a whole-of-catchment effort. Four councils operate in the catchment and there is major infrastructure such as power lines, roads and rail lines.

Exploring New Incentives

 

LDC works closely with landholders to investigate a range of approaches that reward good practice, and identify which options to pursue in the BBB. These could include market-based approaches such as grants, concessional loans, insurance mechanisms, stewardship payments, stamp duty relaxation, rate rebates, taxes, levies or market premiums. Some practice changes may only require short-term financial assistance, while others may need additional support to help maintain long-term benefits.

Policy Engagement

 

The Policy Engagement program aims to support BBB landholders to cut through regulatory red tape that may be preventing them from adopting practice changes.

Landholders Driving Change project

The Landholders Driving Change project is a Burdekin Major Integrated Project delivered by NQ Dry Tropics and funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.

 07 4799 3500

12 Wills Street,
Townsville City, Q4810
35 Don Street,
Bowen, Q4805

 

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

FIVE ACTIVITY AREAS

LANDHOLDERS worked with scientists to design the LDC project activities. These fall into five areas:

  1. BBB GRAZIER SUPPORT
  2. LANDSCAPE REMEDIATION
  3. INFLUENCING OTHER LAND MANAGERS
  4. EXPLORING NEW INCENTIVES
  5. POLICY ENGAGEMENT

 

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.