HELP WANTED: Expressions of interest have opened for projects ideas to help improve the water quality of the reef.
HELP WANTED: Expressions of interest have opened for projects ideas to help improve the water quality of the reef.

Millions on offer for projects to fix reef

FARMERS and organisations in the Fitzroy region could share in $141 million of funding to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef - all they need is a project idea.

The projects will be funded by the Australian Government's Reef Trust Partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Foundation managing director Anna Marsden said agricultural practice change and landscape remediation projects could make a big difference to the reef.

"The science is clear. A healthy reef needs clean water, which is why improving water quality from land-based run-off is so important to the health of our global icon," Ms Marden said. Up to $42 million will be available for projects to improve water quality in the Lower Fitzroy and Mackenzie catchments near Rockhampton and Mackay-Whitsunday regions.

The two regions are deemed as priority and will be the first of seven reef catchment areas to receive project funding. Environment minister Sussan Ley said project ideas should target run-off sediment, nutrients and pesticides in reef catchments, which affected the water standard and stability of the reef.

"Expressions of Interest from potential delivery partners are being sought for cost-effective projects," Ms Ley said.

She said run-off affected the reef's ability to withstand and recover from disturbances like cyclones and coral bleaching.

Expressions of interest for projects in the Plane Creek, Pioneer, Lower Fitzroy and Mackenzie catchments are open until Friday, November 29.

Project tenders can be submitted via www.tenders.net/dtp/barrierreef



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