Sandy Creek Receives Funding For Improved Water Quality

Sandy Creek Receives Funding For Improved Water Quality

Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Steven Miles

$700,000 Investment To Improve Water Quality In Sandy Creek

Victor P Taffa

Sandy Creek catchment and local farmers are set to benefit from a new Palaszczuk Government project worth $700,000 over three years.

Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said the Mackay Whitsunday project (Sandy Creek on-farm change for water quality improvement) would build on earlier work to investigate and address water quality issues related to pesticide and fertiliser use.

“This project builds on its successful predecessor, engaging with local cane farmers monitoring water quality and working in partnership to document changing farm practices focussed on reducing nutrient and pesticide run-off into Sandy Creek.” Mr. Miles said.

“New project will work with a larger group of cane farmers in the Sandy Creek catchment to deliver a greater uptake of improved practices and thereby improve water quality in that important creek system.”

“This investment will involve cane farmers measuring run-off water quality and working with local extension service providers on improved farm management practices that reduce nutrient and pesticide losses.”

Mr. Miles said the new project would be run by Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation in partnership with Mackay Area Productivity Services, Farmacist, Griffith University and other regional partners.

“We are often asked by farmers to prove that chemicals and fertilisers from their farm are ending up in the local waterways.” Mr. Miles said.

“In this project’s predecessor, chemical presence in waterways was measured and farmers involved in the project are more than convinced that improved practices mean less run-off losses.”

“Original project also highlighted the benefits that flow from Queensland Government and farmers working co-operatively on important environmental issues. The new investment will involve even more farmers across that catchment.”

Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said vital information gathered through the research about nutrients and pesticide run-off will be shared with cane farmers and the broader industry.

“This will ensure they have a clear picture of how their land use practices impact on the water quality.” Ms. Enoch said.

Sandy Creek on-farm change for water quality improvement project is part of a funding pool of $1.22 Million that has been dedicated to help the Great Barrier Reef through four science projects aiming to reduce sediment and nutrient losses in priority reef catchment areas of the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Mackay Whitsundays.

These projects were selected in tender processes held during 2016 under the Office of Great Barrier Reef’s Reef Water Quality Science Program.

Mr. Miles said the tenders were a part of the continued investment in research, development and innovation projects by his department’s Office of Great Barrier Reef.

“We continue to support innovative projects that positively engage with farmers, fostering improvements in management practice to provide on-ground success and improve reef water quality and will be announcing more projects of this nature in the near future.” Mr. Miles said.