Networking event | Landholders Driving Change

Exciting first face-face gathering after two virtual women’s events

HARKING BACK… A Women In Grazing event before the COVID-19 restrictions. Members of the LDC women’s Network will be part of a face-to-face meeting for the first time at the Burdekin function.

Members of the Landholders Driving Change (LDC) Womens Network will be part of a Rural and Regional Women’s event at the Burdekin Theatre foyer on 15 October from 930am to midday.

For the first time, the LDC group will be meeting at a face to face function. The first two LDC Women’s Networking events were conducted at Zoom meetings because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

At the event, LDC is collaborating with:

  • Burdekin Shire Council; 
  • Queensland Rural Regional and the Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN);
  • Women in Sugar – Burdekin; and 
  • Zonta Club, Burdekin.

It is an event for all rural, regional and remote women where they will have an opportunity to network.

The theme of the morning, compered by the ABC’s Paula Tapiolas,  is “Taking Time to Connect”.

Ross Romeo from the Community Response to Eliminating Suicide organisation is the keynote speaker. A leading psychologist in mental health, he will be encouraging women to understand, and take time to support their mental health and to become aware of potential barriers in order to overcome them.

He will be supported by three Burdekin women who will speak about their journey overcoming the difficulties of isolation.

They are:

  • Dr Amanda Marano – Psychiatrist, Townsville Hospital & Health Services;
  • Amy Smail – Member, Women in Sugar, Burdekin; and
  • Mary Pearson – Specialised Domestic and Family Violence Social Worker.

There are only 76 places available, so register as soon as possible.

Contact Adrienne Hall (ph: 0428 158 859), Cherry Emerick (0456 015 772), or Sheridan Callcott (0439 421 994) to register your interest and for more information.

Peer groups built on trust

Graziers pay attention when another grazier is sharing his or her real-world experience.

An important component of LDC is to foster peer groups in the BBB catchment that are self-directed, and are supported by LDC extension staff to help deliver skills and knowledge. 

LDC has supported 10 cluster groups, one of which is Ladies of the Land, with the aim of encouraging participating landholders to lead one another, and the broader BBB catchment community, by example.

To be successful, peer groups require openness, mutual respect for one another’s ideas, opinions and suggestions, and confidentiality, even if members don’t always agree.

In a peer group everything gets shared — what works, what doesn’t and why.

Trust is key. If you’re going to get the secret sauce from other landholders, you have to be able to give voice to just about anything in the group.

This is supported by graziers who voluntarily completed surveys earlier this year indicating they rated peer-to-peer learning ‘highly’ as a trusted source of information, advice and support. 

When cluster groups were asked to reflect on the value of working together, a popular response was the increased ability to see what was being done elsewhere, as a result of being involved in the cluster group.

The LDC project has tailored activities to include peer-to-peer learning opportunities, cluster groups and catchment catch-ups to foster these relationships and to encourage the community to lead by example and share experiences.

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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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