The Great Barrier Reef is an Australian icon. It is firmly fixed in people's minds, particularly Queenslanders, and there is a lot of work going on to ensure farming has a strong and sustainable future alongside the reef.
The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, Australia's overarching long-term strategy for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef to support its health and resilience, has recently been revised. The updated version of the Plan intends to guide governments, key sectors and individuals on actions they can take to improve the Reef's future. The 2050 Plan has been updated in response to increased pressures on the reef, such as successive coral bleaching events, and identifies priorities for immediate attention and new actions to protect the reef.
Farmers will be particularly interested in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP), which is found within the Reef 2050 Plan framework. The WQIP identifies all land-based sources of water pollution including run-off from urban, industrial and public lands. It sets targets for improving water quality for the 35 catchments flowing to the reef, for the six regions, and for the whole reef to refocus effort and partnerships with our sector. This Plan and its actions and targets are also due to be updated and the Queensland Farmers' Federation will be participating in the process.
As part of our involvement, we'll be championing Queensland's farmers who are implementing new and innovative strategies to improve water quality for the future of the Reef. The Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP) and Banana BMP programs, Hort360 GBR and Agriculture Extension Work Placement Program are examples of strong partnerships involving the agricultural industry, land managers and governments to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm enterprises. These important actions are improving the quality of the water leaving the farm and are contributing to the health and resilience of the Reef.
It is essential that the agricultural sector voice is heard throughout the WQIP review. Farmers, extension officers and community members are continuing to make positive commitments to improve land management practices. Their actions ensure farming has a strong and sustainable future alongside the Reef.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.