Field day highlights the outcomes to be achieved through the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality program

A recent field trip to Catchment Solution’s large-scale restoration project on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy has highlighted the outcomes that are to be gained through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s (GBRF) Fitzroy Water Quality Program.

The GBRF Fitzroy Water Quality Program aims to stop 50,000 tonnes of fine sediment from the Fitzroy River basin entering the Reef’s waters every year. To do so, Fitzroy Basin Association, Catchment Solutions, Greening Australia and Verterra will conduct a series of projects that focus on improving degraded land through erosion control work and improving land management techniques.

Collinsdale Station is a 450ha cattle property situated on the southern side of the Fitzroy River, approximately 30km from Rockhampton. Using the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (Paddock to Reef program), Collinsdale Station was identified to contribute some of the highest sediment loads to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon from the Fitzroy region.

To decrease sediment loss Catchment Solution used large-scale engineered earthworks and land management techniques. The project included:

  • Approximately 20,000m3 of material being moved and reshaped
  • Over 8km of river and streambank fencing
  • Construction of a large farm dam
  • Installation of over eight off-stream watering points
  • Irrigation, seeding, mulching and revegetation on rehabilitated gully area
  • Supporting the land manager to adoption best practice land management techniques

The project is a powerful example of how Natural Resource Management groups and land managers can work together to achieve positive outcomes for the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Collinsdale Station owner and manager, Peter Bowmann, has been astonished by the change he is has witnessed on his property and in his business through the project. Prior to the project, Peter used traditional grazing methods and thought nothing could be done to remedy his eroding land.

Through working with Catchment Solutions, Peter has reclaimed the grazing land he once thought was lost and created a more productive enterprise.

Listen to Peter talk about the benefits of rotational grazing and ground cover:

The GBRF Fitzroy Water Quality program will work with other landholders like Peter. Using the best available science, the program’s delivery partners (Greening Australia, Verterra, Catchment Solutions and Fitzroy Basin Association) are working on areas along the Fitzroy River that are contributing the largest loads of sediment to the Great Barrier Reef.

Stay up to date on the progress of this project by following FBA on Facebook.

The Fitzroy Water Quality Program is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from Fitzroy Basin Association, Catchment Solutions, Greening Australia and Verterra.