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Report Card 2015


Report Card 2015 (PDF, 10M) assesses the reported results of Reef Water Quality Protection Plan actions up to June 2015.

Results show the need to accelerate the rate of change and drive innovation to meet the ambitious targets. However, not all activities undertaken during the reporting period are included so the results are considered a conservative estimate of progress.

Long-term progress towards 2018 modelled pollutant load reduction targets infographic

Modelled pollutant load reduction data (.csv, 561 )

  • Half way to pesticide and sediment 2018 modelled pollutant load reduction targets.
  • More efficient fertiliser use needed.
  • Inshore marine condition remained in poor condition but coral improved from D → C.

What are we doing?

  • In 2014–15, 402 graziers and 836 sugarcane growers engaged in industry Best Management Practice programs.
  • $100s millions towards big targeted projects.
  • Everyone not just farmers will need to make changes.

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef receives run-off from 35 major catchments, from Cape York in the north to the Burnett Mary in the south, an area larger than the size of Japan. Grazing is the dominant agricultural land use (77 per cent), particularly in the Burdekin and Fitzroy regions. Sugarcane (1.4 per cent) and horticultural crops (0.2 per cent) occurs on the coastal floodplain with high rainfall and/or irrigation. Grain crops and irrigated cotton occurs in inland areas of the Fitzroy region. Pollutant run-off from the catchment impacts the inshore marine environment. Nitrogen runoff from fertiliser is linked to outbreaks of coral eating crown-of-thorns starfish. Suspended sediment in the water reduces the light available to seagrass ecosystems and inshore coral reefs, affecting coral settlement, growth and reproduction. This ultimately decreases the Great Barrier Reef’s ability to recover from the impacts of climate change such as bleaching events and more intense extreme weather events like storms and tropical cyclones.

Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan

The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan is the Australian and Queensland governments’ 35 year action plan for managing the Great Barrier Reef. Improving water quality is one of the key themes of the plan and it incorporates the goal and targets of the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan which focuses on reducing the impacts of diffuse source agricultural pollution on the reef.

Great Barrier Reef Report Card

The annual Great Barrier Reef Report Card details progress towards the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan targets. The report card outlines results from the Paddock to Reef program which collects and integrates data and information on agricultural management practices, catchment indicators, catchment loads and the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program will build upon existing programs such as the Paddock to Reef program to track progress towards the Reef 2050 targets and objectives.


Explore the results visually on an interactive map:
Screenshot of interactive map

Watch this animated video which highlights the key results.

For more information, read the Frequently asked questions.

Fact sheets

There are also a range of fact sheets with supporting information:


Last updated:
20 October 2016

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