Queensland Reef Water Quality Program
Improving the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef is one of the key priorities (PDF, 194KB) for the Queensland Government.
In May 2015, the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce was formed to provide advice on how to improve reef water quality and priorities for investing $90 million over five years.
The Taskforce undertook a situation analysis (PDF, 2.43MB) and consulted (PDF, 4.44MB) with a wide range of people and organisations. It also commissioned a number of external studies and produced an Interim Report (PDF, 19MB) and then a Final Report (PDF, 3.82MB) with 10 recommendations.
The Queensland Government formally responded (PDF, 147KB) and agreed in principle with the recommendations. The Queensland Reef Water Quality Program is the Queensland Government’s program of actions to implement the Taskforce recommendations and includes:
- Investment towards projects such as:
- Major Integrated projects (MIPs) in the Wet Tropics and the Burdekin to focus on reducing nutrient, sediment and pesticide loss.
- Great Barrier Reef Innovation Fund (PDF, 916KB) to support the development, scaling up and roll-out of new technologies and approaches to improve reef water quality. Expressions of Interests are now open for trialling water treatment systems and innovative agriculture management approaches in Great Barrier Reef catchments.
- Extension and Education program boost to support farmers in achieving greater and accelerated on-ground practice change to improve water quality in local waterways leading to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.
- Science, research and farm extension projects to give farmers the best advice and tools to make improvements that reduce run-off, increase profitability and underpin sustainable agriculture.
- Support for industry developed best management practice (BMP) programs (Smartcane BMP and Grazing BMP) which are robust and practical systems to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm enterprises.
- Reviewing the existing reef protection regulations to eradicate the most polluting practices from land-based activities including agricultural production, urban development and other intensive land uses. Read the discussion paper.
- Work with the Australian Government to tackle sediment run-off from gully and streambank erosion in key reef regions through the Great Barrier Reef Gully and Streambank Joint Program.
- Taskforce Full Final Report (PDF, 3.82MB) or Final Report Executive Summary (PDF, 2.06MB)
- Taskforce Full Interim Report (PDF, 4MB) or Interim Report Executive Summary (PDF, 7.1MB)
- Taskforce Interim Report Consultation (PDF, 4.44MB)
- Cost of Achieving the Water Quality Targets for the Reef (PDF, 5.75MB)
- Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for Sugarcane and Grazing in Reef Catchments (PDF, 1.28MB)
- Great Barrier Reef Situation Analysis July 2015 (PDF, 2.43MB)
- Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce members (PDF, 100KB)
- Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Terms of Reference (PDF, 39KB)