Healthy rivers and Reef contributing to a prosperous region where people live, work and play.
The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership is a collaboration between community, Traditional Owners, farmers and fishers, industry, science, tourism and government.
The Partnership is set to release the Mackay Whitsunday region’s first full report waterway health report card in October 2016.
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Meet our partners. This months spotlight is on…   

Who: Reef Catchments

What: Mackay Sustainable Grazing Forum

Area: Best practice grazing land management techniques to improve soil health, productivity, ground cover and ultimately water quality.

Aiming high: The event aim is to enhance grazier’s knowledge of how to be more sustainable, both in business and from an environmental perspective.

In action: The 2017 Grazing Forum attracted over 80 highly motivated and proactive local graziers. Many of the speakers were actual graziers, which helps participants relate and gives credibility to the message. They covered sustainable grazing management techniques, which result in improved productivity including carrying capacity, resilient soils and improved water quality. Trade displays allowed participants to get acquainted with supporting organisations. Thanks to CQ Agforce, Greater Whitsunday Food Network, Pioneer Catchment Landcare, Sarina Landcare and Mt Ossa Rural. Also thanks to New Farm for the demonstration of spray drift reduction using an adjustable nozzle spray unit.

Constructive engagement on our Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership was a highlight of the event, Charlie Morgan presented and interviewed nine landholders about the report card.

Networking amongst industry peers is always a benefit for taking the time off farm to attend events such as this, particularly for farmers who can be isolated geographically and often work alone. Visitors from neighbouring regions provide broader insight into practices.

Participants said they would be interested in keeping up to date with latest innovative practices, particularly drainage management and erosion control measures at the next event.

We say: Juliane Kasisike, Regional Landcare Facilitator – “I was happy to see such a strong interest from our local farmers. We have some passionate farmers in our region that are willing to learn and implement changes to their practice. It was also great to see everyone enjoying themselves during the breaks, engaging with each other was a real pleasure to see. They also showed great interest in the trade displays such as the pest trailer and nozzle spray unit.”

Stats and facts:

  • Over 80 landholders attended
  • 30 industry representatives including speakers attended
  • 9 landholders interviewed on HR2RP 2016 report card
  • High calibre guest speaker list included:
    • Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership Executive Officer Charlie Morgan
    • Nuffield Scholar, Grazier and Soils for Life CEO Natalie Williams
    • Agforce, Senior Policy Advisor Greg Leach
    • Terrain, Wet Tropics Regional Landcare Facilitator Fiona George
    • Meat Livestock Australia George Basha
    • Mt Pleasant (Collinsville) Grazier Garlone Moulin
    • Reef Catchments Water and Waterways Program Coordinator Chris Dench

Event proudly hosted by Reef Catchments with funding from the Queensland Government, the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and sponsored by MLA


Who We Are

The Mackay-Whitsunday Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (the Partnership) was consists of 22 partners from community, industry, science, tourism and government. The geographic area of the Partnership covers the catchments of the Don, O’Connell, Proserpine, Pioneer and Plane basins, the urban area of Mackay, the ports of Abbot Point, Mackay and Hay Point, marinas, and the coastal marine area.

The Partnership supports the development of an annual Mackay-Whitsunday report card,  which takes a nested approach to reporting and will align and integrate a range of regional monitoring programs. The Partnership is also seeking to take a whole-of-catchment approach to planning, and will integrate management approaches across organisations (e.g. looking at how the Mackay-Whitsunday Water Quality Improvement Plan, Reef Water Quality Protection Plan and the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan, and other activities of partners, can help improve waterway health).

The Partnership draws on existing programs and collaborations, where possible, to ensure as much consistency across Queensland report cards, such as using the Reef Plan Independent Science Panel. More detail on how existing programs are being integrated into the Mackay-Whitsunday report card is provided in the Program Design.

The Partnership is hosted in the Mackay-Whitsunday region by
Reef Catchments Limited.

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