Reef Alliance Program – Growing a Great Barrier Reef – Burdekin Cane Project

susagprojectpagephotos2nov2016NQ Dry Tropics Sustainable Agriculture program is delivering extension, training and Reef Water Quality Grants as part of the Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef  programme funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust through the Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) and a partnership between CANEGROWERS, NQ Dry Tropics,  Terrain NRM and the Burnett Mary Regional Group.

The Burdekin Cane Project will:

  • By 2019, contribute to a 10% reduction in DIN from sugarcane enterprises in the Burdekin sugarcane growing region.
  • By 2019, 294 cane farmers will have implemented improved nutrient practices over 44,100ha in the Burdekin sugarcane growing region.

The program is designed to provide assistance to help cane growers implement changes that improve management practices and productivity, while also reducing nitrogen runoff into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

This is a voluntary programme funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust III investment through QFF, delivered in the Burdekin NRM region by NQ Dry Tropics. The Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef  programme is not linked to regulation.

Water Quality Grants now open

Apply for grants up to $20,000 to improved on-farm irrigation efficiencies. Grant applications will be assessed on environmental merit.

Successful Reef Water Quality Grant applicants will enter into a nine month contractual agreement with NQ Dry Tropics. During this time, you will be required to provide evidence of improved irrigation practices.

Expressions of Interest closes on 30 September 2018.


Eligibility criteria

  • Funding is available to sugarcane producers in the Burdekin NRM region.
  • A commitment to developing a Reef Alliance Project – Extension Plan (if not already completed).
  • Demonstrate evidence that the agreed irrigation practice change has been implemented by 30 May 2019.
  • Complete the Smartcane BMP accreditation for the irrigation module by 30 May 2019.

How will I be paid?

  • An initial 50% payment will be made on receipt of a signed grant agreement and tax invoice from you to NQ Dry Tropics for the first milestone amount including GST.
  • The final 50% payment will be made once the project has been completed, evidence of agreed practice change provided, and a tax invoice received.
  • Payment will be made by direct deposit into your nominated account.
  • All projects will be reviewed on-site by an NQ Dry Tropics project officer.

How will applications be assessed?

  • Farms will be benchmarked according to survey answers and proposed irrigation practices that will result in water quality improvements.
  • Project applications will be assessed using the Reef Water Quality Calculator and ranked according to potential environmental benefit.

For more information contact: Michael Hobbs (Project Officer) Phone: 0436 282 405 Email: