$200m reef res­cue

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

THE Fed­eral Govern­ment has an­nounced a $200 mil­lion ex­ten­sion to the Reef Res­cue pro­gram over the next five years.

Since its in­cep­tion in 2008, Reef Res­cue has been work­ing with farm­ers and the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try to re­duce sed­i­ment, pes­ti­cides and fer­tilis­ers wash­ing out into the Great Bar­rier Reef.

Around 20 per cent of sug­ar­cane grow­ers, 11 per cent of gra­ziers and 18 per cent of hor­ti­cul­ture pro­duc­ers have adopted im­proved land man­age­ment prac­tices.

The ex­ten­sion will con­tinue to sup­port new wa­ter qual­ity tech­nolo­gies and fund the con­trol of crown of thorns starfish.

On the ground level, Moss­man Agri­cul­tural Ser­vices man­ager Daryl Parker said he ex­pected more em­pha­sis on im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity rather than grants to farm­ers there will be with the ex­ten­sion.

‘‘A lot of the farm­ers have had some fund­ing as­sis­tance through the pro­gram to get ma­chin­ery and do drain re­pairs, which have all con­trib­uted to im­prove­ment of wa­ter qual­ity,’’ he said.

The Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion has wel­comed the ex­ten­sion to the pro­gram but is seek­ing fur­ther de­tails of the fund­ing com­mit­ment.

The Reef Res­cue Awards will be held tonight, in Cairns to cel­e­brate land man­agers who have con­trib­uted to Reef Res­cue out­comes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.