Grazing management support continues in the Burnett

August 2011

Burnett Catchment Care Association (BCCA), with support from Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG), continues to help the grazing industry in the coastal Burnett and Baffle region improve land management and reduce run-off.

A total of $375,000 from the Australian Government's Reef Rescue has been spent on infrastructure in this financial year to support land managers in the coastal catchments to improve the quality of water that runs off farms, down creeks and rivers and onto the reef.

Katie Muller, Programs Manager for BCCA, said there has been a positive response by the grazing industry to Reef Rescue over the last three years of the program.

"This can be attributed to the excellent work by the Reef Rescue grazing team in promoting and developing the program, and the dedication of graziers in this region to adopt best management practices," she said. "Graziers have been receptive in adopting these practices to increase sustainability and profitability; a win-win situation for both the reef and in the industry".

During this third year of the program, 45 graziers in the Burnett and Baffle catchments received water quality grants, an improvement on the number of graziers from last year. These projects include fencing for rotational grazing, riparian fencing, additional watering points, fencing off eroded gullies and revegetation works.

Danny Green, General Manager of BMRG, said the organisation was providing as much support as possible to see landholders are able to get the full benefits of their Reef Rescue applications. "As a result of the floods, some landholders have requested extensions and we've been able to extend those projects until the end of October," he said.

Those who have been affected have been granted extensions if they are still able to fund their 50% contribution to the project. "We certainly understand that repairing the damage done by the floods is the top priority at the moment, and we're more than willing to accommodate additional time," Mr Green said. "Reef Rescue is a long-term program with long-term goals so a short delay is much better in the long run than rejecting applications and or cancelling projects outright".

Applicants who have withdrawn are still allowed to re-submit their application in future years. Whilst a small proportion of landholders have withdrawn projects, only some of these were withdrawn due to flood damage.

Cathy Mylrea, BMRG's newly appointed Reef Rescue Coordinator, said she was committed to seeing the program go from strength-to-strength. "We've funded over 210 projects across the grazing, dairy, horticulture and cane industries in 2010-2011," Ms Mylrea said. "The program is progressing full-steam ahead and we'll be rolling out the 2011-2012 Reef Rescue program within the coming months."