First stop for the steering committee is Todsure, a property that has undertaken a range of small scale erosion rehabilitation works, and a member of the Scottville Cluster Group.

After COVID delay, MIP Steering Committee tours BBB works

A steering committee provides oversight of the LDC project, and in June, committee members joined the LDC team on a bus tour showcasing LDC’s achievements. 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) put a spanner in the works last year. 

A LDC steering committee bus trip of the BBB was postponed until this year. On June 1, committee members, Department of Environment and Science (DES) representatives, and the LDC team visited four properties that have taken part in the LDC project.

The day provided an opportunity for committee members to see firsthand project progress and to discuss lessons learned about the project’s integrated and collaborative approach to delivering a suite of interventions and management efforts at a catchment scale to improve water quality and long-term sustainable land management.

Sites visited:

  • Todsure: on-ground small-scale gully remediation works.
  • Glen Bowen: on-ground large-scale gully remediation works.
  • Strathmore: on-ground large-scale gully remediation works.
  • Mt Pleasant: landscape rehydration site and learning hub activities.

A huge thank you to landholders Barry Collett, Christian Cormack, Owen Howard and Garlone Moulin who spoke about why they got involved in the LDC project, and about the projects undertaken on their properties.

Stan and Judy Fordham chat with Elisa Nichols and Rae Schlecht, of DES. The Fordhams are members of the Scottville Cluster Group.
From left, LDC’s Cherry Emerick, NQ Dry Tropics CEO Scott Crawford, DAF’s Bob Shepherd, GBRF’s Christian Roth, and DES’ Rae Schlecht.
Fiona George, of Terrain. Terrain is delivering the other Major Integrated Project (MIP) in the Wet Tropics.
Paul Lawrence, Executive Director, Science Delivery and Knowledge, Science and Technology Division, Department of Environment and Science (DES).
Bob Shepherd, DAF, Christian Roth, Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), and Roger Landsberg, Trafalgar Station, and steering committee member inspect Glen Bowen gully remediation sites.
Grazier Judy Fordham and Rae Schlecht, DES.

MIP committee views BBB work

LDC is one of two Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) recommended by the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce. 

The Taskforce was established in May 2015 to provide advice to the Queensland Government on how to achieve water quality targets and priorities for investing $90 million over five years.

This is theTaskforce report, the recommendation to develop and implement two major integrated projects is outlined on page 72.

The other MIP aims to reduce nutrient and pesticide runoff from cane and banana farms in the Wet Tropics region.

The Queensland Government committed a total of $33 million to fund the MIPs, which have concentrated efforts at a catchment scale. They are currently being evaluated to determine how effective they have been.

A steering committee was appointed to perform progress oversight and an endorsement role, providing advice to the Department of Environment and Science and the MIP project managers on matters that impacted program implementation, success, and delivery of products and outputs.

The steering committee has also guided the implementation of a program of works that explored opportunities to build on and value add to activities already being, or scheduled to be delivered, in the project areas.

This has included advising on opportunities for collaborating or coordinating with other programs, and avoidance of duplication of works or investment.

MIP steering committee members:

Bob Speirs (independent chair of the committee); Kevin Gale, Department of the Environment and Energy (Reef Trust) – unable to attend field trip; Jeanette Durante, Department of Science (social science) – unable to attend field trip; Paul Lawrence, Department of Science (landscape and soil science); John Rolfe, Central Queensland University  (economics); Mark Hickman, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (agricultural management); Elisa Nichols, DES (Executive Director, Office of the Great Barrier Reef)Roger Landsberg (grazier); Stephen Ryan, Australian Cane Farmers Association; Scott Crawford, NQ Dry Tropics and Stewart Christie, Terrain.

From left, Mark Hickman, DAF, LDC project panel member Bob Harris, LDC project manager Georg Wandrag, NQ Dry Tropics CEO and LDC project director Scott Crawford.
Grazier and LDC project panel member Bob Harris, second from right, discusses grazing management practices with Scott Robinson, Elisa Nichols and Rae Schlecht, of DES.
Melissa Hele, of Department of Environment and Science (DES), and John Rolfe, CQU.
From left, landholder Barry Collett, Bob Shepherd, DAF, who played an instrumental role in helping the Scottville Cluster Group design and implement small gully erosion rehabilitation methods, and grazing land management plans, LDC’s Rodger Walker, and Bob Speirs, the MIP steering committee chairman.
Glen Bowen landholder Christian Cormack (left) and NQ Dry Tropics CEO Scott Crawford.
Jamie Gordon, Mt Pleasant Station.
Landholder Barry Collett (back to camera) shares insights of works carried out on his property Todsure with (from left) Bob Shepherd, DAF, Roger Landsberg, Trafalgar and steering committee member, and John Rolfe, CQU and steering committee member.
Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) steering committee chair Bob Speirs and NQ Dry Topics field officer Dan Hazelman.
John Rolfe, CQU and steering committee member, and Todsure landholder Barry Collett.
Christian Roth, GBRF, and Roger Landsberg, Trafalgar Station and steering committee member.
Mt Pleasant landholder Garlone Moulin provides an overview of the management changes the Gordon-Moulin family have implemented to improve pasture diversity and biodiversity.
Mark Hickman, DAF and steering committee member asks a question at the Strathmore remediation site. He is pictured with NQ Dry Tropics CEO Scott Crawford and Bob Shepherd, DAF.
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 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