2018 Reef Champion Awards

Success for Burdekin Dry Tropics producers at 2018 Reef Champion Awards

Graziers and cane growers from the Burdekin Dry Tropics region were recognised for their contributions towards improving water quality through adopting sustainable practices at the Reef Champion Awards in Yeppoon.

Grazier Bob Harris, from Glencoe Station, Bowen, picked up the Reef Sediment Champion Award for his work fencing riparian areas and installing watering points to reduce sediment loss from his property. This infrastructure has enabled better grazing management, resulting in improved water quality and farm productivity.

Bob Harris said: “The night was an opportunity to get together and celebrate the individual and collective achievements of the agriculture community.

“The industry is making headway in telling great stories of what farmers are doing in terms of stewardship and best practice, and it’s good to be part of that momentum,” Mr Harris said.

Graziers Jamie Gordon and Garlone Moulin accepted the Reef Conservation Champion award on behalf of Mt Pleasant Station management. This award recognised work to restore ecological function, and improve soil health, pasture condition and water quality on the property, located between Bowen and Collinsville.

Garlone Moulin said: “We appreciate receiving the award but more importantly, it recognises the collective effort of everyone who is involved in the Mt Pleasant business, and the consultants, experts and peers who have helped us on the journey.

“The Reef Awards help increase awareness of the agriculture industry and its initiatives to improve environmental stewardship, and to educate the general public about the environmental efforts of the industry,” Ms Moulin said.

NQ Dry Tropics CEO Dr Scott Crawford was delighted that these graziers’ great work had been recognised at a statewide level:

“The awards and nominations recognise these graziers’ outstanding individual achievements, but what’s particularly encouraging is that they are being delivered in one of the highest priority catchments flowing into the Great Barrier Reef – the Bowen, Broken Bogie.

“We are proud to work alongside the graziers here tonight, and it is also worth highlighting the contributions by Resource Consulting Services and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and

Fisheries, who have also supported them on their journey”, Dr Crawford said.

Ayr cane grower David Defranciscis picked up the Reef Nutrient Champion Award for co-designing a project to test an industry nutrient management standard on grower properties to reduce high nitrogen applications. The project has now validated the standard in the Burdekin and has reduced the amount of nitrogen applied on 23 farms by 500 tonnes.

Cane grower Frank Mugica, also from Ayr, was runner up for the Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership –  Reef Sustainability Award. He was recognised for his progressive use of banded mill mud and green cane trash blanketing to reduce soil erosion and nitrogen use by 20kg per hectare, while also planting 100 native trees to encourage wildlife on his property.

Dr Crawford acknowledged the importance being carried out by growers in the Burdekin region:

“These awards reflect the great strides taken by cane growers in the Burdekin towards demonstrating that productivity and sustainability can go hand in hand”, Dr Crawford said.

Also recognised were graziers Barry and Leanne O’Sullivan of Glenalpine Station, near Collinsville, who were finalists in the Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership –  Reef Sustainability Award, for their efforts to improve Glenalpine’s natural environment and reduce sediment loss.

The Awards, run by the Reef Alliance with support from the Australian and Queensland

Governments, recognised the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve the quality of water entering the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

The Reef Champion Awards are supported by the ‘Reef Trust: Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project, which is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, and the Queensland Government’s Reef Water Quality Program.

Main photo (L to R):

  1. Bob Harris accepting his award from Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig;
  2. David Defranciscis accepting his award from Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig;
  3. Jamie Gordon and Garlone Moulin receiving their award from Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig on behalf of Mt Pleasant Station Management.