Register for vegetation management workshop

Landholders seeking clarity about Queensland’s Vegetation Management laws are encouraged to attend a workshop in Collinsville at the end of this month.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Landholders Driving Change project is organising a full day workshop to inform landholders on how their properties may be impacted by changes to the laws. Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRM&E) representatives will be attending to explain what is achievable under the current legislation, and to answer landholders’ questions.

Event organiser LDC project manager Lisa Hutchinson said the aim of the workshop was to provide a safe platform for landholders to hear first-hand from the Department of Natural Resources, and to have their concerns, issues and questions addressed.

“This is vitally important because landholders need to get answers and the Department of Natural Resources needs a platform to get accurate and current information out to the graziers,” she said.

“DNRME officers will talk through the process and explain what landholder and contractor legislative responsibilities are to ensure compliance with legislation.

“The workshop will also explain what is achievable for property management, including clearing to prepare for or recover from natural disasters, managing encroachment, installing property infrastructure and weed control,” she said.

Held on Wednesday, August 28 at Collinsville Rodeo Grounds, numbers are unrestricted but registration is essential. For further information and to register contact Lisa Hutchinson on 0427594192 or lisa.hutchinson@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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