REEF WAR­RIORS

Fa­ther-and-son duo take out ma­jor 2018 Reef Cham­pion Awards

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - GEORDI OFFORD [email protected]­ral­weekly.com.au

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.

PHOTO: EMMA MURRAY

CHAM­PI­ONS: Cane farm­ers Phil and Gerry Deguara on Gerry's prop­erty in North Eton.

PHO­TOS: FILE

Gavin Rod­man.

David Defranciscis.

Bob Harris.

Nicole Nash.

Sid Crawshaw.

John Day.

Mt Pleasant Sta­tion Man­age­ment.

Al­lan Blair.

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