Queensland Reef Water Quality Program

With the Great Barrier Reef under increasing pressure from a number of threats, improving Reef water quality is a key priority for the Queensland Government.

In May 2016, the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce delivered its final report containing a series of recommendations for investment priorities and actions to improve Reef water quality. You can read more about the Taskforce under Resources. The Taskforce reconvened on 29 July 2019 to review progress with implementing the recommendations. Read the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Communique—29 July 2019 (PDF, 273KB).

The Queensland Reef Water Quality Program is the Queensland Government’s five year program of actions until 2022 to implement the Taskforce recommendations.

The program is supported by a five year investment plan (Part A Overview) (PDF, 665KB) and Part B Investment Table (PDF, 112KB) of more than $261 million and is reported on annually to ensure investment is targeted to actions that benefit the Reef.

The Queensland Reef Water Quality Program includes investment towards the following projects:

  • Major Integrated Projects (MIPs) in the Wet Tropics and the Burdekin to focus on reducing nutrient, sediment and pesticide run-off into waterways.
  • Great Barrier Reef Innovation Fund to support the development, scaling up and roll-out of new technologies and approaches to improve reef water quality.
  • 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 and catchment restoration projects that work with farmers to provide the best advice and tools to make improvements that reduce run-off, increase profitability and underpin sustainable agriculture.
  • An annual Great Barrier Reef Synthesis Workshop to bring together scientists, practitioners, policy makers and program managers to ensure reef policies and programs remain relevant and based on the best available science.
  • Support for industry developed best management practice (BMP) programs (Smartcane BMP, Banana BMP and Hort360GBR) which are robust and practical systems to maintain or improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm enterprises.
  • Reef protection regulations to reduce the chance of nutrients and sediment pollution from agricultural and industrial land uses entering Reef waters. Read about the new regulations and when they apply for different industries and regions.
  • 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.
  • Report cards including the Great Barrier Reef Report Card and regional waterway health report cards in Reef catchments.