Leadership course | Landholders Driving Change

 Leadership program

for local graziers

Pictured are (back row, from left): Christian Cormack, Glenbowen, Bristow Hughes, Strathalbyn, Buster O’Loughlin, Exevale, Bob Harris, Glencoe, Barry O’Sullivan, Glenalpine, Reid Muirhead, Weetalaba, and (front row) Lucy Pepper, Terry Creek, Garlone Moulin, Mt Pleasant, Jessie Norman, Mt Aberdeen, Leanne O’Sullivan, Glenalpine, Tom Murphy, Tabletop, Mick Comerford, Exmoor.

A LEADERSHIP program, developed specifically for graziers in the Bowen and Collinsville region, has kicked off.

Thirteen local producers have signed up to the program that has been designed by NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change (LDC) project.

LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson said the aim was to provide members of the Bowen Broken Bogie (BBB) catchment grazing community a structured and supportive pathway for personal and professional development.

“Leaders are the life-blood of small towns and rural communities. The success of community development efforts often rests with the degree of leadership locals are willing to provide,” Ms Hutchinson said.

“This program promotes leadership development in a rural context, developing leaders who understand what it takes to lead in a regional environment.

“It supports young people wanting to grow their skills as well as established leaders wanting new ways to engage with their community.

“One of Landholders Driving Change broader goals is to build capacity and capability in the BBB grazing community, and we hope this program will become a lasting legacy for the project.”

Program participant Leanne O’Sullivan, of Glenalpine Station, said she looked forward to enhancing her knowledge, skills and understanding of community governance.

“This first workshop has highlighted the importance of each individual needing to develop fundamental communication knowledge to enable us to engage constructively with our community to ensure it thrives and is sustainable,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

Reid Muirhead, of Weetalaba Station, said he looked forward to enhancing his knowledge, skills and understanding of emotional intelligence and teamwork.

“It’s exciting to be part of an enthusiastic and committed group of people who are keen to build interpersonal, self-management and personal skills to help us improve and promote a well connected industry and successful businesses,” Mr Muirhead said.

The program consists of four two-day workshops delivered by some of Australia’s leading trainers and facilitators including Jill Rigney, of The Right Mind, Jo Eady, of Rural Scope, James Aldon, of PD Training, and Julia Telford, of Engage and Create Consulting.

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

Workshop facilitator Jill Rigney, of The Right Mind, and Barry O’Sullivan.

Lucy Pepper at the training workshop held at the Bowen PCYC

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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.

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*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

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*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.

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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.

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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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