Christian and Melissa McCormack with their family at Glenbowen Station

SUCCESSION planning for landholders can be difficult and at times stressful, but it’s important and must be addressed.

Bowen and Collinsville graziers have a one-off opportunity to take part in a succession planning workshop.

The NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change (LDC) project is sponsoring Proagtive Agribusiness Solutions to deliver a two-day workshop in Bowen for landholders who live in the Bowen Broken, Bogie (BBB) catchment.

LDC project manager Andrew Yates said the workshop was aimed at educating all stakeholders in family farm business about the complexities of succession and strategic planning.

“A well thought out and detailed plan is the best way to avoid the difficult and stressful time of succession when it comes,”  Mr Yates said.

“Being proactive, setting achievable goals, maintaining ongoing communication between all parties and using professional support to create and enact your plan can assist you in negotiating the challenges of succession planning.

“This workshop will provide a simple methodology to farming families to gain control and understand their financial drivers so they can make good decisions.

“The LDC project is working with landholders in the BBB catchment on a range of issues including business planning.

“Preparing for the transition of management to the next generation is an integral part of good business planning, which is why we’re sponsoring this workshop.  I encourage landholders to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

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

The succession planning workshop is being held at the Bowen PCYC on 22-23 November.  The third day has been set aside for landholders to book a one on one appointment with one of Proagtive Agribusiness Solutions’ experienced advisors.

To register for the course, and to book a one on one appointment, contact LDC Senior Field Officer Adrienne Hall on 0428 158 859 or adrienne.hall@nqdrytropics.com.au

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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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