Covering approximately 56,000km2 of land and 11,000km2 of sea, the Burnett Mary Region is internationally renowned for its ecological diversity, extensive primary production and rich cultural heritage.
The region also supports Queensland’s largest regional population (approximately 300,000 people)- outside of the South East Corner.
The region includes:
- World Heritage listed K’gari [Fraser Island] – K’gari is the largest sand island in the world, It features complex dune systems that are still enduring and have an array of rare and unique features, including dune lakes and tall rainforests. The Island was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1992 in recognition of its outstanding natural universal values. It is characterised by long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs, majestic tall rainforests and numerous freshwater lakes of crystal-clear water.
- Ramsar listed Great Sandy Strait – This internationally renowned site is a double ended sand passage estuary receiving tidal flows from Hervey Bay in the North and Wide Bay in the South. Situated partially within and between the Fraser Island World Heritage area and the mainland coast, it covers 93, 160 ha. Fresh water is delivered from a 1.25million ha catchment via the Mary and Susan Rivers, creeks, coastal streams and Cooloola Sand Mass to the comparatively small Great Sandy Strait Ramsar site.
The Burnett Mary region provides habitat for more than half of Australia’s bird species and more than 7,500 of its flora and fauna species are rare, threatened or endangered. Abutting the Southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef, the region’s marine environment has more marine fish diversity than the reef itself.
The Burnett Mary region is internationally renowned for its prime agricultural land, well-managed water resources and innovative farming and fishing practices. These attributes support a range of industries including grazing, pork, sugar, dairy, tree crops, seafood, grain and wine and associated processing and value adding industries.
Cattle grazing represents the largest industry by land use and largest regional employer. The region also represents Australia’s largest and fastest growing macadamia, avocado, sweet potato and chilli producers, all of which depend on safe and secure export markets for future growth.
Traditional industries such as sugarcane, have spawned world-class beverage processing industries including for example, Bundaberg Rum and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.
The region also boasts Queensland’s largest timber plantations and produces two thirds of the state’s softwood plantation resources.
Being adjacent to the Southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, the region’s fishing industry is based on a sustainable harvest of scallops, prawns, spanner crabs, mackerel, mullet and reef fish. The industry has a clear competitive export edge based on the region’s international reputation for clean, sustainable fishing practices.