BBB graziers figure prominently in Reef Champion awards

At the 2018 Reef Champion Awards are BBB graziers Garlone Moulin and Jamie Gordon from Mt Pleasant Station (left), and Bob Harris, Glencoe Station pictured receiving his award from Mayor of the Livingstone Shire Bill Ludwig.

Winner – Reef Conservation Champion Award

Mt Pleasant Station, between Bowen and Collinsville.

For restoring the ecological function of the property with a time-controlled grazing system, implementing a short graze period, adequate rest and higher density of animals resulting in improved soil health, pasture condition and water quality.

 

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Winner – Reef Sediment Champion Award

Bob Harris, Glencoe Station, Bowen.

For on-farm efforts to fence riparian areas and install watering points reducing sediment loss. This infrastructure has allowed better management of grazing, resulting in improved water quality outcomes and farm productivity.

 

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Finalist – The Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership Reef Sustainability Award

Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan, Glenalpine Station, near Collinsville.

Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan have created a system on Glenalpine that meets community needs, while being amenable to the needs of nature.

 

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2018 Reef Champion Award winners

The Reef Champion Awards are supported by the ‘Reef Trust: Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project, which is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.

Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership –  Reef Sustainability Award

  • Winner: Gerrard Deguara, North Eton, for his innovative modification of farm and harvesting equipment to a two metre controlled traffic farming system maximising the growing area of his paddocks, improving yields and soil health, reducing fossil fuel use and the volumes of chemical and nutrient run-off in water leaving the farm.
  • Runner up: Frank Mugica, Ayr, for his progressive use of banded mill mud and green cane trash blanketing to reduce soil erosion and nitrogen use by 20kg per hectare, while also planting 100 native trees to encourage wildlife on his property.

Reef Nutrient Champion Award

  • David DeFranciscis, Ayr, for co-designing a project to test an industry nutrient management standard on grower properties to reduce high nitrogen applications. The project has now validated the standard in the Burdekin and has reduced the amount of nitrogen applied on 23 farms by 500 tonnes.

Reef Sediment Champion Award

  • Bob Harris, Bowen, for on-farm efforts to fence riparian areas and install watering points reducing sediment loss. This infrastructure has allowed better management of grazing, resulting in improved water quality outcomes and farm productivity.

Reef Pesticide Champion Award

  • Phillip Deguara, Eton, for his instrumental role in implementing a grower-led water quality management project resulting in significantly reduced numbers of pesticide applications on his and other farms.

Reef Conservation Champion Award

  • Mt Pleasant Station management, Bowen, for restoring the ecological function of the property with a time-controlled grazing system, implementing a short graze period, adequate rest and higher density of animals resulting in improved soil health, pasture condition and water quality.

Reef Extension Officer Champion Award

  • Allan Blair, South Johnston, for his innovative modification of a sprayer that can apply two different types of herbicide at the same time. The dual herbicide sprayer applies standard herbicide mixes to the row and non-residual herbicides to the inter row reducing the potential for contaminated run off.
  • John Day, Wondai, for being instrumental in promoting landholders’ uptake of best practice soil conservation practices and directly overseeing construction works for the remediation of over 54 sites throughout the Burnett Mary region.

Reef Community Champion Award

  • Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group, Gordonvale, for holding 31 community planting events and, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers and 21 landholders, planting 33,000 trees over 17 hectares.

Reef Youth Champion Award

  • Nicole Nash, Freshwater, for launching The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef campaign which has seen over 320 venues across the Reef catchments, which were using an estimated 4.1 million straws per year, go plastic straw free.
  • Gavin Rodman, Gordonvale, for his integral part in the design and delivery of the Cane to Creek project and rollout of Best Management Practice training in the Wet Tropics as the lead deliverer of SIX EASY STEPS training for the cane industry.

Reef Youth Champion Award – Under 15

  • Sid Crawshaw, Tannum Sands, for encouraging local businesses, his fellow school students and family members to say ‘no’ to straws and stopping an estimated 8,000 single-use plastic straws from entering landfill or the Great Barrier Reef.

To learn more about the winners and runners up, visit: www.qff.org.au/projects/reef-alliance/2018-reef-champion-awards/.

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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

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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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