Cane farm­ers in line for reef grants

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

WET Trop­ics sugar cane farm­ers will re­ceive a share of $11.8 mil­lion in grants from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment as part of the next step to help im­prove the qual­ity of wa­ter flow­ing to the Great Bar­rier Reef.

The grants will be avail­able to farm­ers in the Wet Trop­ics and the Bur­dekin to sup­port ini­tia­tives aimed at im­prov­ing ni­tro­gen use man­age­ment prac­tices.

Ter­rain NRM has been ap­pointed to ad­min­is­ter the ten­ders in the Wet Trop­ics on be­half of the Wet Trop­ics Sugar In­dus­try Part­ner­ship (WTSIP). CEO Ca­role Sweat­man said the ReefTrust IV fund­ing from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment was great news for cane farm­ers in the re­gion and would build upon the suc­cess of pre­vi­ous ten­ders.

“Many cane grow­ers in the Wet Trop­ics are try­ing re­ally hard to re­duce their ni­tro­gen in­puts and as a re­sult of the pilot re­verse ten­ders pro­gram, in 2015/16 con­tracted farm­ers col­lec­tively re­duced their ni­tro­gen use by more than 86 tonnes,” she said.

In­ter­ested grow­ers are invited to bid for fund­ing through a num­ber of com­pet­i­tive re­verse ten­ders con­ducted over a num­ber of years. Funds will be al­lo­cated to suc­cess­ful bid­ders of­fer­ing the best val­ue­for­money projects.

The first ten­der will open in early 2017. The ap­pli­ca­tion pe­riod is 6 Fe­bru­ary-6 March with ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est to be sub­mit­ted 23 Jan­uary-13 Fe­bru­ary. In­ter­ested grow­ers can find out more from their lo­cal WTSIP ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers or from in­for­ma­tion ses­sions to be held in Jan­uary.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Reef Trust Re­peated Ten­ders - Wet Trop­ics call 1800 899 486, email reeftrust@ter­rain.org.au or visit http:// www.en­vi­ron­ment.gov.au

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