$33 million for Great Barrier Reef pollution


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$33 million for Great Barrier Reef pollution.

NORTH Queensland NRM groups will coordinate $33 million in new funds to deliver on ground pollution reduction in the Wet Tropics and Burdekin regions.

Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said that two contracts had been awarded to design Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) in the region over four years.

“I am pleased to announce that Terrain from the Wet Tropics and NQ Dry Tropics from the Burdekin, will coordinate design of the projects to improve water quality in pollutant hot-spot areas,” Dr Miles said.

“Crucially, local communities will be involved in the project design. That they get to trial a range of coordinated actions designed specifically for their area.

“I expect that the lessons from these projects will be transferred to other regions, thereby increasing their reach and impact in reef catchments,” he said.

Dr Miles said both providers are perfectly poised to take this work on. They have long-established links with their local communities and strong connections with other existing programs and industry partnerships.

“We expect to see some very creative local designs by June 2017 that will work with cane and banana growers in the Wet Tropics and graziers in the Burdekin.”

Carole Sweatman, Terrain NRM CEO, said work was already underway.

“We are thrilled to take this challenge on behalf of our consortium of over 40 partners including industry, researchers, local government and the community.

“In fact, we’ve already started engaging with consortium members to lay strong foundations for partnership arrangements for designing the MIPs. We see the major integrated projects as a major opportunity for collaboration,” Ms Sweatman said.

Scott Crawford, NQ Dry Tropics CEO said the MIPS were an innovative approach to improving the quality of water entering the reef in the priority Burdekin region.

“We now have an unprecedented opportunity to actively involve Burdekin graziers in the project design process which will result in pilot projects tailored to graziers' individual situations and needs.

“This approach will enable them to build on the significant improvements they have already made to their land management practices," Mr Crawford said.

Next step for the project is for both providers, Terrain and NQ Dry Tropics, to engage with landholders and stakeholders in their local communities to design each of the major integrated projects early in 2017.

More detailed information about the major integrated projects is available at www.qld.gov.au/GreatBarrierReef.