Reef Trust Repeated Tenders – Wet Tropics and Burdekin


All funding under this project has now been allocated.

The Australian Government has provided $12.1 million to sugarcane farmers in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics natural resource management (NRM) regions to help reduce nitrogen runoff leaving sugarcane farms and entering the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Delivered as part of the Australian Government’s $225 million Reef Trust, this investment supports cane farmers to better match their fertiliser application to crop requirements.

Funding was awarded under three rounds of the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders project across the Wet Tropics (delivered by Terrain NRM) and Burdekin (delivered by NQ Dry Tropics) NRM regions.

The Reef Trust competitive tender asked sugar cane farmers to put a price on the cost of improving their farming practices.

This project offered funding of up to $500,000 for sugar cane farmers to implement nitrogen reduction improvements which would enhance water quality entering the reef, whilst reducing fertiliser costs and maintaining yields.

This project builds on the previous pilot tender which, based on the first two years of results, has so far prevented 116 tonnes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) from entering waterways and impacting the Great Barrier Reef – without affecting yield.

In 2017,  farmers successfully bid for a total of $4.7 million for Round One of the Repeated Tenders project and $4.12 million for Round Two.

On 7 June 2018 the Assistant Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Hon. Melissa Price MP, announced $3.28 million in grant funding would be provided under Round Three.

The three rounds of tenders will reduce nitrogen runoff to the Great Barrier Reef by an estimated 385 tonnes.

This project will run until 2022 and provides a great opportunity to build on the significant improvements the Burdekin sugarcane industry has already made to the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

For more information on the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders – Burdekin (this project) visit



Contacts and links

To find out more, contact NQ Dry Tropics at or phone 07 4799 3500.

Please visit this web page regularly for project updates.

Reef Trust