Promoting healthy use

PROTECTING waterways for a better environment and ensuring healthy water for use by residents, agriculture and industry, is an essential goal for Fitzroy Basin Association Incorporated (FBA).

FBA chief executive officer Suzie Christensen said the FBA was the region's leading natural resource management group and worked closely with the community to create a more sustainable CQ.

“We co-ordinate the achievement of local targets developed by the community and set out in the regional plan, the Central Queensland Strategy for Sustainability: 2004 and Beyond,” Ms Christensen said.

Many of the targets relate to improving the health of local waterways.

“The Fitzroy Basin is the largest river system draining to the east coast of Australia, with 20,850km of waterways all leading to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

“We have had enormous success in helping reduce the amount of sediment, and associated contaminants, reaching waterways and the reef by working in partnership with landholders.

“Through our Neighbourhood Catchments approach, we support landholders to improve property infrastructure, such as fencing riverbanks to better manage stock access, or make management changes that improve ground cover, like switching to a rotational grazing system.

“By working with landholders to improve their land management and levels of ground cover, we have helped to reduce erosion and soil loss from properties.

“Evidence shows we're making a difference, reducing annual average sediment loads delivered to waterways by an estimated 75,000 tonnes, with cumulative reductions in sediment entering waterways of 4.1 million tonnes by 2014.”

Ms Christensen said the FBA believed strongly in water quality monitoring and co-ordinated a network of landholder volunteers across the basin who collected water quality data.

“For years FBA has been working with local landholders to monitor water quality on properties and gain a better understanding of agricultural impacts on waterways,” she said.

She said FBA had intensified its focus on waterway health through:

  • A new project to establish a healthy waterways monitoring and reporting partnership for the Fitzroy Basin;
  • The recent release of a Fitzroy Basin Water Quality Improvement Report;
  • Membership of the State Government's Fitzroy water quality advisory group; and
  • The creation of a new Healthy Waterways Manager position to support partnership development across the Fitzroy.

More information is available from FBA by phoning 4999 2800 or online at www.fba.org.au.



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