Leadership program | Landholders Driving Change

Leadership program participants, (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.

Mount Pleasant grazier Garlone Moulin.

Dick Richardson (left), of Grazing Naturally, and grazier Bob Harris enjoying some “grass discourse” at a field day held in the BBB.

Guest speaker Jim Fletcher, DAF, (left), and Reid Muirhead, Weetalaba Station. Reid and wife Julie kindly allowed LDC to run the workshop at Weetalaba.

Leadership program has an eye on the future

IN its inaugural year, 13 emerging grazing leaders are graduating from a leadership program developed specifically for graziers in the Bowen and Collinsville region.

The program has been designed by the 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,” Ms Hutchinson said.

“The success of community development efforts often rests with the degree of leadership locals are willing to provide. 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 Bob Harris, Glencoe Station, said the program had enhanced 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 Harris said.

“I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing with other people. We signed up to the program because we’re trying to find ways to better tell our stories to the wider community on how we’re improving our country and our industry outcomes.”

Grazier Garlone Moulin, Mt Pleasant Station, was also enthusiastic about her experience on the program and said she felt privileged to have done it.

“The program fast-tracks a broad range of training and condenses years of experience into months,” Ms Moulin said.

“The exposure to, and interaction with, the other people on the course – and the benefits of having an extensive and supportive peer network going forward – has been invaluable.

“The facilitated approach to the entire program was a real strength of the training too.”

Grazier Reid Muirhead, Weetalaba Station, said he enjoyed the interaction with other graziers and hearing about different ideas.

“As far as telling the grazier story, we need a broad range of ideas and views, and everyone brought something different to the table which has been fantastic,” Mr Muirhead said.

“It’s been a valuable experience learning how to communicate effectively, and how to build meaningful relationships with your peers.

“I used to think that leaders always led from the front, but now I believe that leaders can ‘lead from the back’, in that they should encourage and guide people, especially the next generation, nurturing new ideas so the industry can move ahead in innovative ways.

“The next generation is more technology-minded and forward-thinking than the last. We need innovation in the cattle industry, so we must nurture the young people in the industry.”

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 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.

The second intake for the program is underway. To register your interest, contact Lisa Hutchinson on 0427 594 192.

LDC Project Manager Lisa Hutchinson.

Queensland Government Office of Great Barrier Reef director Scott Robinson, Landholders Driving Change project panel member and grazier, Exevale Station, Buster O’Loughlin, and Office of Great Barrier Reef Programs principal policy advisor Rae Schelecht.

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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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