Delivering water quality outcomes at federal, state and local levels


The Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017-2022 is a joint commitment of the Australian and Queensland governments. The plan is a collaborative program of coordinated projects and partnerships designed to improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Australian and Queensland governments have committed more than $2 billion across 10 years to protecting the reef, with an unprecedented level of investment into improving water quality.

This funding is to accelerate our collective efforts to improve the land use practices of everyone living and working in the catchments adjacent to the reef through a diversified set of actions.

Under the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan, water quality targets have been set for each catchment that drains to the Great Barrier Reef.

These targets consider land use and pollutant loads from each catchment. Click here to read the Burdekin catchment water quality targets.


The Queensland Government is rolling out two large scale reef water quality projects that will become blueprints for improving water quality flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.

The Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) initiative has been developed by NQ Dry Tropics in the Burdekin and Terrain NRM in the Wet Tropics with funding of $33 million through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.

The Burdekin MIP has been renamed locally the Landholders Driving Change project.


Erosion in Great Barrier Reef catchments didn’t happen overnight and it’s a bigger problem than each landholder can address on their own.  

That’s why there are a number of programs in place bringing scientists and graziers together to come up with solutions.

The LDC project  is one of those programs and is focused on best management practices, along with new ideas and technologies to help reduce sediment run-off.  

LDC is a Burdekin Major Integrated project funded by the Queensland Government through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program. 

In this Queensland Government video, NQ Dry Tropics CEO Scott Crawford and TropWATER’s JCU scientist Steve Lewis talks about the importance of new approaches, and the broad aim of the LDC project.  TropWATER is one of the LDC’s valued partners.

Soil erosion and sediment and nutrient runoff into waterways is not just a question about impacts on the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, but needs to be seen within the broader context of sustainable beef production, which includes retaining the integrity of the land resource as the main basis for pasture and beef production.

Minimising soil erosion is as much about maintaining future productivity as it is about limiting off-site impacts.

Sustainable grazing of livestock in the Great Barrier Reef catchments relies on production of palatable pasture.

In time, unsustainable grazing practices reduce pasture and ground cover, which increases the risk of valuable topsoil being lost when it rains.

Reduced ground cover also increases overland flow, exacerbating gully and streambank erosion and increasing  sediment and nutrient delivery to waterways draining to the reef lagoon.

The Queensland Government produced this video to help explain how managing erosion in grazing lands can have a better impact on agriculture land and the Great Barrier Reef.

This video, also produced by the Queensland Government, shows how sediment travels to the Great Barrier Reef.