At 156,000 square kilometres, Fitzroy is the largest region draining into the Great Barrier Reef. The region experiences highly variable rainfall, high evaporation rates and prolonged dry periods that are often followed by floods.
The region includes important areas of remnant and threatened vegetation communities (e.g., Brigalow and native grasslands).
The Fitzroy region is large and has high river flow variability with occasional cyclones and prolonged dry periods. The variable rainfall delivers sediments, nutrients and pesticides to the inshore and sometimes offshore portions of the Reef in pulsed flows, which can be affected by reservoirs and dams. Grazing is the dominant land use, with dryland cropping, upland cotton and some mining.
Urban centres such as Rockhampton and Gladstone are located on the coastal strip. Habitats include offshore reefs, seagrass and extensive mangroves. Continental islands (such as the Keppels) are important for tourism and the region also supports important commercial and recreational fisheries.
The Regional Natural Resource Management body, the Fitzroy Basin Association, and industry partners are working with landholders to reduce sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
The catchment profiles provide information about each area including size and rainfall, land use, targets, priorities for water quality improvement and sources of pollutants.
- Last reviewed
- 8 June 2023
- Last updated
- 15 February 2019