Major integrated projects in Wet Tropics and Burdekin
The Queensland Government has committed to implement two major integrated projects (MIPs) to reduce nutrient, sediment and pesticide loads into waterways in the Wet Tropics and Burdekin regions. Terrain NRM has been engaged to coordinate design of the Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project and NQ Dry Tropics has been engaged to coordinate design of the Burdekin Major Integrated Project—Landholders Driving Change. Both groups have been engaged on behalf of a broader consortium of partners, including industry groups, science institutions, and non-government organisations.
Project design ran from December 2016 until June 2017 while on-ground delivery of MIPs will run from mid-2017 until June 2020.
What will the MIPs do?
Concentrate effort – in two or three priority areas. All landholders in MIP areas are encouraged to get involved.
Pilot a mix of actions – with producers and the broader community, tailored to meet the needs of landholders that live in MIP areas. Landscape restoration activities such as gully, streambank and habitat repair will also be trialled. The MIPs will evaluate how effective different actions are in improving local water quality and whether actions are suitable for broader application.
Work with farming communities – farmers and graziers in MIP areas to better understand their farming practices and support them in useful ways to adjust these as needed.
Provide timely feedback from monitoring – to ensure projects can change and adapt as required to meet water quality targets.
Increase the capacity for practice change – so that producers maintain their sustainable management practices, and local water quality continues to improve beyond the life of the MIPs.
Reduce sediments, nutrients and pesticides flowing to local waterways – through improved practices and landscape restoration to reduce the level of pollutants in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
Where will the MIPs be located?
The projects will work with groups of producers and other stakeholders in priority areas recognised for their nutrient, pesticide and sediment loads into the Great Barrier Reef, primarily:
- Cane and banana farmers in the Wet Tropics region to reduce nutrient and pesticide losses off the paddock.
- Graziers in the Burdekin region to reduce sediment and particulate nutrient losses off the paddock.
In addition to the specific farming producers, other landholders will also have a role to play in the MIPs to provide a whole of catchment solution. Terrain NRM and NQ Dry Tropics have been working with their partners, landholders and relevant experts to determine where to locate MIPs within their respective catchments.
Who will deliver MIPs?
The former Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has undertaken an extensive procurement process to identify regionally based agents to coordinate the design of each MIP. This included an Expression of Interest released to the market in July 2016, followed by an Invitation to Offer released to shortlisted proponents in September 2016. Through this process, the department identified that Terrain and NQ Dry Tropics natural resource management (NRM) groups are in the best position to coordinate design of the Wet Tropics and Burdekin MIP, respectively from December 2016 until June 2017. Both NRM groups have identified an extensive consortium of partners to support in designing the MIPs, including industry groups, science institutions, and non-government organisations. Terrain NRM, NQ Dry Tropics and their partners have been hosting a series of workshops with local producers, stakeholders and communities from early 2017 to start MIP design. Project design is due to Queensland Government in mid-2017 for consideration.