Place-based integrated projects

The Queensland Government is funding over $13 million to continue the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program (QRWQP) investment in place-based approaches across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Reef Place-Based Integrated Projects (2023–2026)

The Reef Place-Based Integrated Projects initiative, which will see an investment of up to $5.5 million, seeks to help improve Reef water quality and add value to whole-of-catchment and local economies across a range of cross-sector settings.

Like all place-based projects, community, industry, and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to design and deliver the projects in a way that responds to local needs, issues, and opportunities.

In addition to supporting water quality, land management and environmental outcomes, the projects will promote skills and jobs, regional growth, and enduring legacy outcomes across the Reef catchment.

Projects may focus on a variety of opportunities from agricultural land and catchment management, landscape remediation to natural capital, agricultural supply chains, and circular economy opportunities.

The initiative is being delivered in two stages with the first stage focusing on developing regional collaboration by facilitating conversations between diverse stakeholders and sectors.

The second stage will be project design and delivery.

Atherton Tablelands Integrated Collaboration

The Queensland Government and Sustainable Table have each committed $1.5 million toward the Atherton Tablelands Integrated Collaboration, a unique partnership to promote regenerative horticulture and Reef water quality outcomes.

Delivered by Sustainable Table from 2023–2028, the project

  • uses a grassroots approach to engage and support horticulture land managers across the Atherton Tablelands to encourage uptake of regenerative horticulture practices tailored to the local system and environment
  • aims to develop an integrated food hub in the Cairns region, creating links across the agricultural supply chain and a closed-looped economy.

Burdekin Major Integrated Project: Landholder’s Driving Change (phase 2)

The Queensland Government has committed $3 million towards the second phase of the Burdekin Major Integrated Project (Burdekin MIP). This investment will continue to:

  • engage graziers, other land managers and the community to reduce sediment run-off
  • develop better understanding of land management and local water quality.

Burdekin Major Integrated Project Gully Maintenance and Monitoring

The Burdekin Major Integrated Project Gully Maintenance and Monitoring   will see over $500,000 invested into monitoring and maintenance of the 24 gullies remediated as part of the Burdekin MIP for three years until 2025. Learnings on the long-term effectiveness and maintenance of gully remediation works will be shared with groups undertaking similar on ground projects.

Wet Tropics Local Scale Monitoring Program (phase 2)

The $3 million Wet Tropics Local Scale Monitoring Program focuses on water quality monitoring at sub catchment level, paddock demonstration sites and catchment repair monitoring in the Tully and Johnstone catchments.

The program will work in cooperation with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Reef Trust Partnership Tully Johnstone Regional Water Quality Program to prevent dissolved inorganic nitrogen from entering the Reef.

The program will continue to monitor and engage landholders and the local community to better understand the impact of land management practices on local water quality.

Major Integrated Projects in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics (2017–2021)

The Burdekin and Wet Tropics Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) (2017-2021) were two major place-based projects that worked with agricultural producers, landholders and the local community to test a range of tools and approaches to improve water quality by reducing nutrients, sediment and pesticides flowing into waterways in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics regions.

The Burdekin MIP, known as Landholders Driving Change, worked with graziers in the Bowen-Broken-Bogie catchment in the Burdekin and was coordinated by NQ Dry Tropics. The Wet Tropics MIP focused on banana and sugarcane growers in the Johnstone and Tully catchments of the Wet Tropics and was managed by Terrain NRM.

Tailored to local needs, both projects had a catchment-wide focus and were designed from the ground-up with landholders and experts. They included a broad range of activities from water quality monitoring and practice change to catchment repair, gully remediation, incentives and extension.

In addition to the economic benefits including 31 jobs created and 318 businesses receiving work through the projects, the MIPs drove a change in landholder attitudes and a greater understanding of how their actions contributed to local water quality.

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Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project infographic snapshot


  • 325 growers across 39,503 hectares covering 86 of sugarcane and banana land in Tully and Johnstone engaged 14 jobs plus 6 casual Indigenous water quality monitoring officers
  • 43 contractors engaged injecting $2.8 million into the regional economy
  • 16 different treatment systems across 540 hectares
  • 38 demonstration sites showcasing innovative farming practices and treatment systems
  • 13 Indigenous staff trained in water quality sampling
  • 26 skill building and knowledge sharing events
  • 56 one-on-one extension activities
  • 30 new water quality monitoring sites
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Burdekin Major Integrated Project infographic snapshot


  • 93% of large grazing properties engaged, covering over 1 million hectares
  • 45 smaller farming properties engaged along with Glencore, NQ Gas Pipeline and Whitsunday Regional Council
  • 17 jobs including 6 regional jobs
  • 78 grazing land management projects across 46% of grazing land in Bowen-Broken-Bogie
  • 24 gullies remediated spanning 1,600 hectares
  • Around 10,6000 tonnes less sediment per year entering the Reef
  • 150 education, training and knowledge sharing events
  • community water quality monitoring program supported

More information

Please contact the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, Department of Environment and Science for more information at