Community, Connection and Investment FBA’s 2023 Highlights

As we near the end of the year, the Fitzroy Basin Association’s Annual General Meeting was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the organisation’s incredible achievements for 2023.

Throughout the year, FBA has continued to provide services across the breadth of our impressive region and through this has become an agile and resilient organisation.

“Starting as a community-based organisation 27 years ago, FBA’s unwavering commitment to maintaining regional relevance has enhanced our social license and ability to attract strategic investment,”

CEO Elyse Riethmuller said.

Community Connections

FBA harnessed the passion and enthusiasm of 2,555 volunteers through 31 community groups over the past year.

From removing 2,500kg of rubbish from our beaches and waterways to monitoring and protecting marine turtle nests, FBA volunteers play a significant role within the organisation and wider community.

Seasgrass Restoration Project

The Seagrass Restoration project was awarded the Queensland Farming Federation’s 2022 Reef Champion Award for outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve the quality of water entering the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

The project saw

  • 250 fishing enthusiasts donate their valuable time to:
    • remove 1,153 kg of rubbish
    • collect 415,000 seagrass seeds
    • release 215,000 seeds

“When I was out on the water, I would see rubbish and ask ‘why isn’t anyone doing anything about this’. Now when I see rubbish, I pick it up. The solution is simple, and it starts with all of us.”

– Seagrass Project Volunteer

FBA coordinated the Seagrass Project using the best available science and local knowledge from:

  • CQUniversity Australia
  • Woppaburra Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreement (TUMRA)
  • Konomie Island Environmental Education Centre
  • Central Queensland community

Land Management

FBA continued to support land managers in the adoption of land management practices that are both good for the bottom line and the environment.

This year saw 89 land management plans put in place and 588 land managers supported.

  • 126,679 ha practice change
  • 86km fence erected
  • 53km pipe installed
  • 92 waterpoints installed
  • 1407 tonnes of fine sediment saved

Waterway Restoration

FBA secured funding for three new streambank stabilisation sites at:

  • Six Mile Creek
  • Lower Fitzroy River (Bindaree)
  • Kroombit Creek
  • 1,400 plus tonnes of sediment savings

Environment Management

FBA team has implemented a range of works to enhance the environmental assets of the region.

Through a range of programs funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments:

  • 37,901 ha weed control
  • 574256 ha pest control
  • 1.7 ha coastal habitat remediated
  • 3,763 ha marine debris collection
  • 22 km streams protected

Connecting Country

A key focus for 2022-23 was strengthening FBA’s genuine relationships with the 17 First Nations groups of the region.

FBA has been developing partnership statements with each Frist Nations Group, and so far we have three First Nations Partnerships in place and one in review.

Three Traditional Owner Partnerships:

  • Bidjara People
  • Wadja People 
  • Woppaburra People

One Traditional Owner Partnership in review:

  • Kanolu People

FBA has been engaged by the Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water as an independent co-facilitator to support the genuine engagement of First Nations people in the review of the Fitzroy Water Plan.

The goal is to have traditional knowledge, stories and values represented in the new water plan, which is key to balancing the needs of waters users and the environment.

Kanolu on-Country visit

Attracting New Investment

FBA CEO Elyse Riethmuller said the organisation saw a surge in engagement during the past financial year, with 15 industry partners investing more than $2 million.

Ms Riethmuller said this reinforces FBA as a catalyst for achieving evidence-based, accessible and cost-effective solutions.

“Our unwavering commitment to fostering connections and facilitating collaboration has yielded significant results that will be felt well into the future,”

CEO Elyse Riethmuller said.