Meghan Blackburn, OGBR with graziers Bob Harris, Glencoe Station (left), and Bristow Hughes, Strathalbyn Station, during the round table discussions.

Josie Angus, Kimberley Station, and Peter Andersen, Glenlea Downs.

Donna Turner, NQ Dry Tropics makes a point while Elisa Nichols, DES, (left) and Rae Schlecht, DES listen in.

Susan Vail, Salisbury Plains, (left) with Elisa Nichols, Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Bristow Hughes, Strathalbyn Station (left) and Peter Webley, DNRME brainstorm on butcher’s paper.

Jessie Norman, Mt Aberdeen Station (left), and Meghan Blackburn, OGBR.

Policy engagement round table meeting

LDC has held a round table to coordinate engagement between landholders and government decision makers on relevant policy and regulatory issues that could impact landholders in the BBB catchment.

The round table was held in Townsville last week.

The aim of LDC’s Policy Engagement Activity Area is to facilitate better landholder engagement in relevant policy development and implementation in the BBB catchments.  This engagement is absolutely necessary because it provides landholders with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way and helps government understand their concerns.

The round table, held at Quest on Eyre in Townsville on 20 February, brought together representatives from NQ Dry Tropics, Department of Environment and Science, Office of Great Barrier Reef, Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy – including directors from the relevant departments (vegetation, reef, water and protected plants), and graziers.  Julia Telford, of Engage and Create Consulting, facilitated the day.

It provided the platform to explore opportunities to influence existing and future regulations to better support water quality outcomes, and to discuss the intent of existing and proposed regulations and the impact of these regulations on grazing operations.  

Workshop outcomes:

  • Identified relevant departments impacting farming
  • Identified principles for future policy engagement opportunities through community forums
  • Identified processes to improve communications, ‘awareness raising’ around policy and legislation
  • Documented actions for current and proposed policy and legislation across relevant departments
  • Identified opportunities to better inform landholders on upcoming policy changes or new policy

This is the first of several planned round tables to be held in 2019.

Peter Andersen, of Glenlea Downs, with Jane Jamieson, DNRME (left) and Alex Brown, DES.

Elisa Nichols, DES (left), and Josie Angus, Kimberley Station.

Andrew Yates, NQ Dry Tropics LDC speaking to (from left), Susan Vail, Salisbury Plains Station, Lisa Hutchinson, NQ Dry Tropics LDC, Jessie Norman, Mt Aberdeen Station, and Kerry Hammett, DNRME.

 NQ Dry Tropics LDC Senior Project Officer Lisa Hutchinson is flanked by Bob Harris, Glencoe Station, (left), and Peter Webley, DNRME.


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.
KEQ #8

KEQ #7
KEQ #6

KEQ #5

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 #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 #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

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8, 780


Published by two titlesCirculation - 4,006

Published by four titlesCirculation - 8,780





Published by one titleCirculation - 7,207




Published by two titlesCirculation - 9,965




Published in The Northern MinerCirculation - 2,041