Nom­i­na­tions are open for awards

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL LIFE -

THE Lock­yer Val­ley might seem a long way from the sea but ac­tions of farm­ers here can im­pact the health of the wa­ter­ways which run out to­wards the reef.

Out­stand­ing land man­agers and ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers have the op­por­tu­nity to be recog­nised through the 2017 Reef Al­liance Reef Awards.

The Reef Al­liance is seek­ing nom­i­na­tions from those work­ing to re­duce their off-farm im­pact on the iconic Great Bar­rier Reef, with en­tries open un­til Oc­to­ber 2.

Chair of the Reef Al­liance Joanne Grainger said that farm­ers play an es­sen­tial role as land man­agers and it was im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge and cel­e­brate those who were ex­celling in their role as en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ards.

“The awards pro­vide in­dus­try and the broader com­mu­nity the op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate farm­ers, for the first time, ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers who work to change prac­tices for the bet­ter,” said Ms Grainger.

“The Aus­tralian Govern­ment’s Reef Pro­grams have been very

suc­cess­ful in sup­port­ing and de­liv­er­ing mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial out­comes for farm­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment. The govern­ment should be com­mended for in­vest­ing in the col­lab­o­ra­tive and pro­duc­tive part­ner­ships forged be­tween in­dus­try and Nat­u­ral Re­source Man­age­ment (NRM) groups.

Nom­i­na­tions are be­ing sought for the fol­low­ing awards: Reef Nu­tri­ent Man­age­ment Award, Reef Sendi­ment Man­age­ment Award, Reef Pes­ti­cide Man­age­ment Award, Reef Con­ser­va­tion Award, Reef Ex­ten­sion Of­fi­cer’s Award, Prince of Wales En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship-reef

Sus­tain­abil­ity Award.

“Farm­ers con­tinue to change their farm­ing prac­tices, im­prove on-farm in­fra­struc­ture and im­ple­ment best man­age­ment en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices.

“Th­ese pos­i­tive ac­tions are mak­ing huge im­prove­ments to the qual­ity of the wa­ter leav­ing the farm, sig­nif­i­cantly con­tribut­ing to the health of the Reef.”

The awards are spon­sored by the Reef Trust: Reef Al­liance – Grow­ing a Great Bar­rier Reef project, which is funded by the Aus­tralian Govern­ment Reef Trust.

De­tails and nom­i­na­tions at www.qff.org.au/projects/ reef-al­liance/awards/

PHOTO: WWF-AUS / CHRISTIAN MILLER

FARM­ERS RECOG­NISED: Nom­i­na­tions for the 2017 Reef Al­liance Reef Awards are open un­til Oc­to­ber 2.

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