BUNGUNDARRA Lychee grower Ian Groves has reaped the benefit of the $16.1million invested in the Fitzroy Basin region to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Groves happened across a unique pest reduction system when visiting China five years ago and After help with funding from the Fitzroy Basin Association, the system is operating up and running on his property.
In a bid to reduce bug infestation and the subsequent loss of fruit, Mr Groves installed 30 solar light and water systems.
The insects become disoriented, fall into the water and drown.
The results speak for themselves with Mr Groves using substantially less chemicals on his 14,000 fruit trees across his 200 hectare property.
Fitzroy Basin Association chief executive officer Paul Birch said the investment consisted of a $12.5million investment that will be made in the region over the next three years.
It is part of a five-year extension to the Reef Rescue component of the Australian Government's Caring for our Country initiative through water quality grants and $3.6million over the next five years to protect and restore wetlands and waterways.
"With 20,000kms of streams and creeks flowing through the Fitzroy Basin and out to the reef, the continuation of Reef Rescue is a welcome boost and will ensure FBA can build on its previous efforts to improve land management and water quality in the region," Mr Birch said.
"FBA co-ordinated the delivery of more than $30million in funding under the first five years of Reef Rescue with over one million hectares encompassed by projects.
"During this time we worked with land managers and the community to adopt better practices, protect and restore sensitive ecosystems, and improve knowledge of the link between water quality and the reef.
"FBA helped hundreds of farmers, graziers, irrigators and horticulturalists across the region to change their property layout, management techniques, or upgrade farm machinery to reduce erosion and improve water quality.
Mr Birch said more than "Over 1400 kilometres of fencing was constructed which resulted resulting in improved ground cover and more than 1600 kilometres of stream banks protected from erosion.
"Further to this, over 1000kms of pipeline watering systems were installed, as well as over 600 off-stream watering points, tanks and troughs to keep cattle off creek banks," he said.
"Sensitive areas of native vegetation and wetlands were also managed and restored by volunteer groups and private landholders with support from FBA and the first best management practices program for the grazing industry was established.
Reef Rescue aims to reduce the run-off of sediment, nutrients and chemicals into the Great Barrier Reef. Data from the Reef Plan Report Card released recently shows this program is working.
Since 2008 more than 3200 Queensland land managers across Queensland have benefited from Reef Rescue and its associated grants and management tools.
For every dollar the government has invested in Reef Rescue farmers have contributed about $1.80.