Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) welcomes the potential greater positive impacts on the Great Barrier Reef that will be made possible through the Australian Government’s $1 billion additional funding over a nine-year period announced on 28 January 2022.

BMRG and its consortium partners have already delivered significant work to improve water quality in the region.

BMRG CEO, Sheila Charlesworth, said the Burnett Water Quality Consortium, with funding from the Australian Government and including BMRG, Central Queensland University’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre, Gidarjil Development Corporation, Alluvium, LESS Industries, and Goondicum Pastoral Company, brings together the latest ecological science with the knowledge and experience of Traditional Owners and is already making progress.

“We have a proactive team of experts leading the way in this field. Not only scientifically, but importantly with boots on the ground working alongside farmers and landowners, making real changes that are already having an impact.

“A number of projects are well progressed at several sites. Work focused on biodiversity, endangered species and water quality is already underway and the additional funding announced could expand this good work to make a real difference to our environment and the greater region.

“In addition to the environmental benefits of the work we’re doing, we’re also having a positive impact on the community more broadly. We are working with local businesses supporting local jobs, our education programs are building knowledge and capacity in the region, and our farmers and landowners are enthusiastic about the economic impact of this work on farm production,” Ms Charlesworth said.

Grazier Nadia Campbell is participating in the current project and has seen benefits to properties, stock and the surrounding wildlife and community in the region.

“The project has improved waterways, reducing sediment flow to the reef and improving our farm water quality. We’ve been in drought for three years so any water that can run off clean for our cattle is like liquid gold. It’s also helping our pasture, which supports improved productivity.

“We’re also seeing clear waterholes for the white throated snapping turtle, platypus and endangered rock wallabies that live in the area.

“These projects are so important to this region. It’s a real win, win, win for the environment, farmers and the community,” Ms Campbell said.

BMRG is optimistic about the greater positive impact and outcome the additional funding could deliver.

“We will see results from the work already underway, but there is so much more that can be done. Expanding our work in the Burnett Mary region would go a long way to achieving the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets and ensuring the health and security of the reef, for the environmental and economic benefit of generations to come,” Ms Charlesworth said.