WATERWAY HEALTH: Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Executive Officer Dr Leigh Stitz (left) with recent scholarship recipient Tiffany Brown and Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Chairman Dan Yates.
WATERWAY HEALTH: Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Executive Officer Dr Leigh Stitz (left) with recent scholarship recipient Tiffany Brown and Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Chairman Dan Yates.

Scholarship offered to research the health of Fitzroy Basin

A $2000 scholarship has been offered to steer a CQUniversity student to research the health of the Central Queensland’s Fitzroy Basin waterway.

The river system has been recognised as one of Australia’s most critical economic powerhouses, humans, ecosystems, industry, and agriculture all rely on it to survive and thrive.

Local not-for-profit organisation Fitzroy Partnership for River Health is an independent collective with members from government, agriculture, resources, industry, research and community.

The group provides annual report card on the health of the Fitzroy Basin’s waterway ecosystem.

To ensure research efforts and knowledge about waterway health are prioritised, the collective has again offered a $2,000 HeART of the Basin Scholarship through CQUniversity to encourage students to concentrate their research efforts to better understand and manage our most critical resource.

The scholarship will be open to CQUniversity research students studying Honours, Masters by Research or PhD to progress their learnings in a research topic related to improving waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin.

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Executive Officer Leigh Stitz said by supporting scientific waterway research the group help drive positive change now and into the future.

“In 2021, Fitzroy Partnership for River Health will release its 10th Annual Report Card on ecosystem health of the 11 freshwater catchments and the Fitzroy River estuary in the Fitzroy Basin,” Dr Stitz said.

“The $2,000 HeART of the Basin Scholarship has supported three students and waterway research projects since 2015 aligning perfectly with our aim of creating a more complete picture of river health for the Fitzroy Basin.”

“The Scholarship was named after our inaugural Fitzroy Partnership for River Health Science Panel Chair, Emeritus Professor Barry Hart, who himself has contributed substantially to waterway research in Australia.”

Dr Stitz said previously funded scholarship research had included the development of a toolbox for fish health assessment, off-stream stock watering research to protect stream banks and improved water quality and the study of microplastic levels in water in the Rockhampton and Livingstone water supplies.

Applications are now open and close on January 29, 2021.

For more information and application forms, visit here.

The latest Fitzroy Basin report card.
The latest Fitzroy Basin report card.

Summary of Results for 2018-19

  • The results of the ecosystem health index increased slightly overall in 2018-19 compared with 2017-18.
  • 11 catchment regions and the estuary zone were examined with the Fitzroy Basin receiving an overall score of B.
  • The Comet decreased its overall grade to a C and the Connors went from a C to a B.
  • The overall ecosystem health of other catchments, including the estuary zone, remained relatively stable although there were some changes to individual indicators, for example to nutrient levels.
  • Mostly good results for physico-chemical indicators throughout the Fitzroy basin.
  • Mostly good results for nutrient indicators throughout the Fitzroy basin.
  • Mostly fair results for toxicant indicators throughout the Fitzroy basin.
  • Mostly poor results for ecological indicators throughout the Fitzroy basin.

The next Annual Report Card on the Fitzroy Basin’s health will be released 2021.

For more information and to see previous reports, visit here.



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