Reef water quality report card shows some progress
October 30, 2017
The most recent report card measuring progress towards the targets of the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Protection Plan has found that improved targeting of investment is resulting in less pollution flowing to the reef.
The report card, which assesses the reported results of all Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 actions up to June 2016, concluded that the overall results showed progress in some areas, but faster uptake of improved land management practices is required to meet the water quality targets.
Key findings included:
Modelled annual average loads of dissolved inorganic nitrogen reduced by 5.5% to 25.5% in the Burdekin as a result of improved nitrogen and irrigation management by sugarcane growers. Improvements were delivered through the first Reef Trust Reverse Tender, funded by the Australian Government and facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics, and the RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Project, funded by the Queensland Government and facilitated by Sugar Research Australia.
Modelled annual average loads of sediment reduced by 4.1% to 9.6% in the Fitzroy as a result of targeted investment in streambank protection. This included 117 graziers receiving funding through the Australian Government’s Reef Program to improve their land management practices.
For the first time, the state of and pressures on wetland environmental values are reported across the Great Barrier Reef. Overall, wetlands are in moderate condition.