Father-and-son duo take out major 2018 Reef Champion Awards
THE winners of the 2018 Reef Champion Awards have been announced, shining a light on leaders in on-farm practices and extension who are working to reduce and manage agriculture’s impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
Innovative nitrogen reduction practices, dedicated approaches to extension, revegetation of farms and conservation of wetlands and riparian areas were just some of the success stories honoured at the awards dinner on National Agriculture Day in Yeppoon on Wednesday night.
The awards, run by the Reef Alliance with support from the Australian and Queensland governments, recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve the quality of water entering the iconic Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO Travis Tobin congratulated the winners and other finalists and said it was important to acknowledge the continued commitment and efforts of farmers and others working with the agricultural sector.
THE 2018 REEF CHAMPION AWARD WINNERS:
Prince of Wales Environmental Leadership – Reef Sustainability Award
GERRY DEGUARA, North Eton, for his innovative modification of farm and harvesting equipment to a two metre controlled traffic farming system maximising the growing area of his paddocks, improving yields and soil health, reducing fossil fuel use and the volumes of chemical and nutrient run-off in water leaving the farm.
Reef Nutrient Champion Award
DAVID DEFRANCISCIS, Ayr, for co-designing a project to test an industry nutrient management standard on grower properties to reduce high nitrogen applications.
Reef Sediment Champion Award
BOB HARRIS, Bowen, for on-farm efforts to fence riparian areas and install watering points reducing sediment loss.
Reef Pesticide Champion Award
PHILLIP DEGUARA, Eton, for his instrumental role in implementing a grower-led water quality management project resulting in
significantly reduced numbers of pesticide applications on his farm.
Reef Conservation Champion Award MT PLEASANT STATION
MANAGEMENT, Bowen, for restoring the ecological function of the property with a time-controlled grazing system, implementing a short graze period, adequate rest and higher density of animals resulting in improved soil health, pasture condition and water quality.
Reef Extension Officer Champion Award
ALLAN BLAIR, South Johnston, for his innovative modification of a sprayer that can apply two different types of herbicide at the same time. JOHN DAY, Wondai, for directly overseeing construction works for the remediation of over 54 sites throughout the Burnett Mary region and being instrumental in promoting landholders’ uptake of best practice soil conservation practices.
Reef Community Champion Award MULGRAVE LANDCARE AND CATCHMENT GROUP,
Gordonvale, for holding 31 community planting events and, with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers and 21 landholders, planting 33,000 trees over 17 hectares.
Reef Youth Champion Award NICOLE NASH, Freshwater, for launching The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef campaign which has seen over 320 venues across the Reef catchments, which were using an estimated 4.1 million straws per year, go plastic straw free.
GAVIN RODMAN, Gordonvale, for his integral part in the design and delivery of the Cane to Creek project and
rollout of Best Management Practice training in the Wet Tropics as the lead deliverer of Six Easy Steps training for the cane industry.
Reef Youth Champion Award – Under 15
SID CRAWSHAW, Tannum Sands, for encouraging local businesses, his fellow school students and family members to say “no” to straws and stopping an estimated 8000 single-use plastic straws from entering landfill or the Great Barrier Reef.
To learn more about the winners and runners up, visit qff.org.au.
CHAMPIONS: Cane farmers Phil and Gerry Deguara on Gerry's property in North Eton.
Mt Pleasant Station Management.