Reducing fine sediment by maintaining and restoring Burdekin stream banks and coastal wetlands project

In the Burdekin region, grazing lands and streambanks contribute a significant amount of the fine sediment that reaches the Great Barrier Reef via the lower Burdekin River. Led by NQ Dry Tropics in collaboration with local government, Lower Burdekin Water, Burdekin River Improvement Trust, industry groups, landholders and Traditional Owners, the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program is funding a project to address these problems and improve water quality by:

  • repairing streambanks in priority locations to prevent erosion
  • maintaining and improving the health of key local wetlands by restoring the natural water quality treatment system functionality that traps fine sediments and other pollutants
  • supporting the local community to adopt agricultural practice change.

The project has so far successfully removed 36 hectares of aquatic weeds from two of the priority creek systems (Lilliesmere Creek and Merryplain Creek). Participating landholders are employing holistic management principles to support wetland condition and functionality and are utilising the Paddock to Reef (P2R) Projector tool to help them understand what changes will actually make a difference in Reef water quality.

The project is also reporting social outcomes. Burdekin grower, Gordon Wood said “I’m making changes to the way I farm. I’ve gone from focusing on efficient nutrient application to looking at all areas of farm management, in particular irrigation management, and using tools to measure soil moisture to improve the accuracy of my irrigation scheduling. I’m now basing decisions on the information I get through these monitoring tools rather than just from looking at the cane. The P2R project has shown me that by effectively managing both nutrient and irrigation practices, there are significant additional water quality benefits.”

For more information, please visit the NQ Dry Tropics website.

The Reef Trust Grazing practice change project also supports beef producing enterprises to improve production, performance and profitability through improved management practices.