GBR Report Card shows steady trajectory

October 27, 2017

The Great Barrier Reef Report Card 2016 released today, shows that landholders are continuing to make progress towards Australia’s Reef Plan targets. 

The Great Barrier Reef Report Card is the main report card produced each year to assess the combined results of all Reef Plan activities across Queensland. This year's results show improvements across all scores in the Wet Tropics although the overall aggregated grade has not changed.

Report cards are a valuable tool for measuring progress but it is important to remember that it takes time for changes in land management to translate into measureable changes in marine condition. However, the continuing steady trajectory towards our targets shows that the effort and investment directed towards improving land management practices is having an effect.

Carole Sweatman, CEO of Terrain, said one of the encouraging signs of this year's report card is that areas with closely targeted investment are showing good results.

"This is really positive news for projects like the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project, a community designed reef water quality program in the Tully and Johnstone catchments. It's a fantastic opportunity to achieve greater water quality impacts because of the more localised approach," she said.

Joe Marano, Chair of the Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership, said it was important to acknowledge the advances being made on the ground.

“This report card shows that the changes growers are making on their farms is having a positive effect. We have come a long way already and as an industry we are taking steps to accelerate these improvements in land management practices by collaborating more effectively to deliver a range of projects that are aimed at improving grower profits as well as water quality,” he said.

“One example is the Australian Government’s Reef Trust 3 program. Our target with this program is to achieve more efficient use of nutrients and pesticides across 51,870 hectares of high priority cane production land,” he said.

The annual Wet Tropics Report Card, which is due to be released on 5 December 2017, will provide more in-depth information into waterway health across all nine catchments between the Daintree and Herbert River.

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