Tuesday, April 23, 2024

$20m deep dive to help farmers and protect Great Barrier Reef

The Queensland Government has announced it will invest $20.75 million over the next three years to help farmers reduce harmful run-off, improve productivity and protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Meaghan Scanlon said the multi-million-dollar injection into the agricultural industry will enable the continuation of the Grazing Resilience and Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) program and the agricultural industry’s Best Management Practice (BMP).

“Farmers will continue to play a critical role in helping to protect our Great Barrier Reef,” Minister Scanlon said.

“Both programs are aimed at helping our agriculture industry improve land condition, enhance production and, ultimately, reduce pollutants in reef catchments.

“We have allocated $8.68 million to Fitzroy Basin Association, the Burnett Mary Regional Group, NQ Dry Tropics and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to continue the GRASS program until 2026.”

She said GRASS was aimed at improving land condition with a focus on increasing ground cover to reduce harmful run-off impacting the Great Barrier Reef.

“The program assists graziers to improve their land condition and enhance their production – a perfect example of achieving economic benefits and positive environmental outcomes together.”

“GRASS program funding also provides graziers and producers with support to better understand their obligations to meet the government’s Reef protection regulations.

“The new investment in the GRASS and BMP programs is just part of the Queensland Government’s $125.1 million investment to support the agricultural industry in its efforts to protect the reef, with funding allocated from the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.”

Burnett Mary Regional Group CEO, Sheila Charlesworth said GRASS was an important program that delivers significant environmental benefits.

“The Burnett Mary Regional Group has been developing action plans for land management in consultation with farmers to improve paddock management and pasture cover to enhance production, provide economic benefits and deliver environmental outcomes,” Ms Charlesworth said.

“The program has been very successful in achieving these objectives,” she said.

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