Round three of Reef Trust Tender

Round three of Reef Trust Tender funding package to support cane farmers and the Great Barrier Reef.

Burdekin and Wet Tropics sugarcane farmers can bid for funding of up to $500,000 to improve the efficiency of their nitrogen fertiliser use and reduce nitrogen runoff leaving their farms and entering the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.

The Australian Government has made up to $11.8 million of funding available in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics regions. Delivered as part of the Government’s $225 million Reef Trust, this investment will support sugarcane farmers to reduce nitrogen runoff by better matching fertiliser application to crop requirements.

Round three of the repeated tenders will build on the success of previous tenders in the Wet Tropics and Burdekin regions, where early outcomes have shown success. In 2017, the Burdekin repeated tenders saw farmers successfully bid for a total of $4.7 million for round one and $4.46 million for round two. Once again NQ Dry Tropics will support Burdekin farmers through the bidding process.

NQ Dry Tropics Sugarcane Team Leader, Luke Malan, said that this was a great opportunity for farmers to build upon the success of the previous year’s Reef Trust tender programs.

“This third round of the reef tender will support the Burdekin sugarcane industry to further improve nitrogen use efficiency and the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.

“Sugarcane farmers will have the chance to implement on-farm nitrogen reduction or irrigation improvements that they may have been thinking about for some time, which enhance water quality entering the reef whilst at the same time reducing fertiliser costs and maintaining yields,” he said.

The Reef Trust competitive tender is an innovative way to encourage sugarcane farmers to put a price on the cost of improving their nitrogen and irrigation management practices. Farmers design their own projects and, if successful, are offered grant funding for the total cost of their project.

Interested farmers are invited to bid for funding through competitive reverse tenders. Funds will be allocated to successful bidders offering the best value-for-money projects.

Applications for round three of the repeat tenders will be open for submission between 30 January and 5 March 2018.  Mr Malan said that NQ Dry Tropics would ensure that farmers hear about the opportunity and have the information they need to make a decision to submit a tender bid.

“NQ Dry Tropics is committed to making this project a success. We have been working closely with the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy to provide information and tools farmers will need to develop an informed bid for their proposed project,” he said.

For information about the tender, email burdekintender@nqdrytropics.com.au or phone 07 4799 3500.