The Australian Government is continuing work in partnership with Queensland sugarcane farmers to use fertiliser more efficiently to improve the quality of water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef, which effects the marine environment and thus the commercial fishing industry in the reef.
$3.28 million will be provided to 24 sugarcane farmers in the Wet Tropics and Burdekin regions to improve fertiliser management practices. This funding is in addition to the more than $500 million recently announced by the government to protect the reef.
The funding announcement brings the total amount provided to sugarcane farmers under three rounds of the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders project to $12.1 million. Due to the high level of interest from farmers, all funding under this project has now been allocated.
“Excess nitrogen run-off from agricultural land in the reef catchments is one of the biggest threats to the health of the reef and is linked to outbreaks of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish,” said Assistant Minister for the Environment, Melissa Price.
“Sugarcane growers across the Great Barrier Reef coastline have embraced new technologies and methods to ensure the environment is protected for generations to come.”
The third round of the tenders will result in approximately 500 tonnes less fertiliser being applied to sugarcane farms and 100 tonnes less nitrogen reaching the Great Barrier Reef. In total, the three rounds of tenders will reduce nitrogen pollution to the Great Barrier Reef by approximately 385 tonnes.
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