Farmers sign up to save reef
MOSSMAN and Daintree farmers are leading the way in helping protect the environment.
Eight of the nine applicants who applied for Waterways grants in the Mossman/Daintree area were successful as part of the Federal Government’s final round of Reef Rescue package.
The grants were given to farmers and graziers in a bid to help them to stop erosion on their land, to plant trees and help protect the rivers and waterways on their properties and stop any chemical run- off from their land and making its way to the ocean and the reef.
Daintree farmer Willy Davis, from Douglas Creek, said he had been given a grant to help with shoring up the erosion on his property by planting trees.
Mossman cane grower Brett Coulthard, a third-generation farmer, said he would also plant trees to help stop erosion.
“We also have a ready supply of rock on our property and so when we get a chance we will be carting truckloads of rock to help keep the soils in place too,” he said.
“We always try to control our land and look after it the best way we can and so these grants are quite useful.”
Douglas catchment co- ordinator Steve Bailey, from Terrain, said farmers and graziers could apply for the Waterways grant and get a maximum of $150,000 per project, but they had to keep in mind that they too had to provide 50 per cent of the project in cash or in-kind.
“Four of these farmers were adjacent to cane land and four were adjacent to grazing land and seven of the of the eight projects involve erosion hotspots on rivers and one is the reinstatement of a small wetland on Doug Crees’ cane farm near Cooya Beach,” he said.
“Earthworks have been completed on Mr Crees’ farm and the wetland will be planted out with native wetland species before the start of the 2012/13 wet season. With all of the eight waterways projects in our region, the farmers are working with Peter Logan and his team from the Cairns Regional Council based in Mossman, who grow the native trees required for the specific areas and assist by providing expert advice for planting and maintaining the revegetation.
“I am also working directly with a number of the landholders to implement trials of new bank stabilisation methods rather than just the traditional method of using large rock, and we are looking at doing some small scale trials using different stabilisation methods as the conventional methods are usual costprohibitive to a lot of our farmers.”
The majority of the waterways projects are focused on erosion hotspots to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients being lost, particularly during large rain events. The eight Waterways grants given out to Mossman/Daintree farmers by Terrain NRM has been $117,000 in total.
PROBLEM AREA: Willy Davis on his Daintree property