Melissa and Christian Cormack and their children Darcy and Mia

THE LDC project has enlisted the expertise of Proagtive Agribusiness Solutions to deliver a Succession Planning workshop in Bowen. It’s aimed at educating all stakeholders in family farm business about the complexities of succession and strategic planning.

The workshop will provide farming families with a simple methodology to gain control and understand their financial drivers so they can make good decisions. All graziers in the BBB are encouraged to attend.

The workshop targets multi-generational farming families in business and takes them through interactive sessions with workbooks supplied, where they can begin the process of succession planning and also understand it better.

Whether you are a family member or non-family member working in a family owned business – succession and preparing for the transition of management to the next generation is an integral part of good business planning.

Succession involves far more than just the transfer of assets when the business owners either retire or die.

It is an evolving process ensuring the continuation of a business down through either generations or layers of management.

It involves choosing and grooming the successor(s), planning for the future, coping with the transition, communicating around and managing the change to the family and the business and letting go gracefully.

The timeliness of succession is the most critical task any business owner wishing his or her business to endure for future generations will face.

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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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THIRD DAY ADDED

A THIRD day has been added to this workshop: Thursday 22 November.

If graziers want to book a one-on-one appointment with one of Proagtive Agribusiness Solutions’ advisors - Isobel Knight (Succession planning) or Tim Lane (Farm financial planning) - contact Adrienne Hall on mobile 0428 158 859 or by email adrienne.hall@nqdrytropics.com.au.

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