Dr Ryan Turner: [00:00:00]
Without water we don't have life. We don't have industry. We don't have farming. We don't have food. So ensuring the water quality for future generations and ensuring the reef for future generations is so important.
Dr Ryan Turner: [00:00:19]
With the recent impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and the recent coral bleaching, it's now more important than ever to bring more people to the table to improve the resilience on the Reef.
Dr Ryan Turner: [00:00:31]
In the Paddock to Reef program we sample water quality in our creeks and streams that discharge water to the Great Barrier Reef. Monitoring our waterways we can assess what condition they're at. We also look at how dirty the water is, the sediment that's in the water. And we also assess it for pesticides and what the pesticide concentrations are. The Paddock to Reef program has a modelling component and it can forecast and assess where investment is needed so that the government can invest specifically in certain areas and get value from that investment.
Dr Ryan Turner: [00:01:03]
So the team based in Brisbane work with regional stakeholders everywhere from the Burnett Mary region all the way up to the Cape York as far as Pascoe. The team spent some time with the farmers. They teach them how to sample the water quality and how to record all the metadata and information about the sample.
Dr Ryan Turner: [00:01:31]
The Sandy Creek farmers are an active group of farmers south of Mackay and they actively put their hand up to be involved in taking samples themselves so they can learn from that water quality information and then take that information back and collectively as a group try to improve their local water quality.
Dr Ryan Turner: [00:01:49]
It's quite encouraging to see them take that data and then go back to their farms and tweak their practices to have a positive effect. The Paddock to Reef program is definitely not about policing. Ultimately we're all trying to improve water quality and that's all for the reef and ensuring its resilience for the future generations. It's not the only program where this is happening, it's happening across the state. I think it's up to everybody. It's not an easy fix. Improving water quality is hard, but if we're all at the table, I think we'll achieve what we're trying to do. We're trying to improve water quality and we're trying to make a difference and we're trying to look after the Great Barrier Reef.