BUNDABERG has welcomed a federal minister into town with open arms today, as well as her $6.1 million funding announcement for the region.
Set to improve water quality that flows from the Burnett River Catchment to the Great Barrier Reef, the Morrison Government will allocate the funding to the Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG).
Arriving in Bundaberg today to make the exciting announcement, environment minister Sussan Ley said the project would prevent more than 16,000 tonnes of fine sediment from entering the Great Barrier Reef.
“I’m here in Bundaberg to find out what’s happening with the Burnett Mary Regional Group and the work they’re doing in protecting and caring for the environment,” Ms Ley said.
“We’ve announced $6.1 million (will be awarded) to BMRG as they have demonstrated that with this funding, they can improve the quality in the reef catchment for their area.
“It will support large scale restoration of riparian areas to reduce streambank erosion and fine sediment loads, improved landholder management of cattle access to waterways, the implementation of weed management plans and a feral animal control strategy.”
Goondicum Pastoral Farm owner Robert Campbell said he was appreciative of the support of BMRG and the Federal Government.
“Over the last four or five years, BMRG have gotten behind the program and got all the landowners working together,” Mr Campbell said.
“As we all know, the drought and floods affects the reef, so we’re really grateful that the Government has gotten on board and helped us so much.”
Working alongside landowners and Traditional Owners, the project is set to improve land management practices and deliver positive outcomes for farmers and the reef.
Combining the latest ecological science with the knowledge and experience of Traditional Owners, CQUniversity’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre and Gidajil will form part of the Burnett Water Quality Consortium.
“Other areas may access some of this funding overtime, but this is an important area with almost 20 per cent of sediment that enters the reef coming from the Burnett river and if we’re going to tackle the problem at its source, this is a really good place to start,” Ms Ley said.
“Hearing from farmers is always important because it’s the farmland that often makes the sacrifice and while the government supports water quality monitoring, it works for farmers and improves the environment for the whole community.
“In terms of natural resource management groups in Australia, this is a very strong group that are very good at what they do – BMRG use drones to give them information to map what’s happening on the ground,…