December 17, 2018
It's been another great year working with the Wet Tropics community, and our partners further afield. It always requires a big effort when we’re at the start of a new funding cycle but we’ve now got the foundations in place for 4-5 years of exciting projects and I think it shows our capability to adapt to change and future proof our organisation.
All of our project proposals for investment through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resource Improvement Program were successful, as well as our joint bid with Northern Gulf and Cape York to deliver projects under the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. This is a particular testament to our team and partners and I want to thank them for their continued hard work and commitment to the important work we do together.
The Wet Tropics Report Card 2018 was released, with results showing the majority of our waterways continue to be graded good or moderate.
The MIP team have been immersed in rolling out community-driven water quality solutions in the Tully and Johnstone basins. There’s been huge amounts achieved in one year, which has been underpinned by the dedication of landholders involved with the project.
Reef Credits was launched – Australia’s first market-based system providing payments to landholders in exchange for making changes to reduce nutrient, pesticide and sediment run-off to the Great Barrier Reef. It has the potential to transform the way reef programs are funded, and the first credits could be issued as early as June next year.
The Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership continues to make progress on delivering cane targets. To date, close to 400 growers have been engaged by the extension team. Through Reef Trust IV repeated tenders, 41 cane growers will reduce their collective nitrogen application by 1200 tonnes over 5 years. There’s also been lots of movement reshaping gullies in the Herbert area as part of the Reef Trust IV Gully & Stream Bank Repair project, which will stop hundreds of truckloads worth of fine sediment from flowing to the GBR.
Behind the scenes, Corporate Nature started operations. The not-for-profit joint entity provides centralised corporate services to improve efficiencies and reduce costs for NRM bodies. Developed through an alliance with our NRM neighbours Cape York and Northern Gulf, it’s changed the shape of our organisation and will help achieve better NRM delivery right across North Queensland.
These are just a few of the year's highlights. Check out our annual report for more.
Thank you to everyone working hard on protecting our backyard - the amazing Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef. Looking forward to 2019...
Chief Executive Officer