Fine results flow from caring for our country program

THE Australian Government Reef Rescue program under Caring for Our Country has powered through stages 4 and 5.

Grower participation and uptake of incentives in horticulture have been overwhelming across the Reef catchments.

As a result, we can clearly state to the Australian Government that interest remains high and the program should continue for the positive results it is achieving.

With the bulk of available funding dollars committed, Growcom staff will now finish auditing growers, delivering any outstanding training and completing an evaluation process.

To date Growcom has assisted about 320 horticulture growers access funding. To achieve this, we have engaged 600 individual enterprises across about 1000 interactions.

Grower investment in direct relationship to incentives provided has remained steady at $1.80 for every incentive dollar available to horticulture.

However, the investment in nutrient, sediment and chemical management practice changes have not stopped there.

Through a survey conducted by Growcom this time last year, 84% of Reef Rescue-funded growers have voluntarily invested in making further changes that will have significant flow-on effects to reef water quality outcomes, regional economies and grower production values.

During the course of Reef Rescue, there has been significant investment in research and development.

Information is now available on the website,

Growcom, along with Reef Partners, has worked towards establishing Reef Rescue 2, and we look forward to an announcement before Christmas.

Water use efficiency and energy efficiency remain topical in an economic climate where growers are experiencing increased costs for both consumables.

Findings from work conducted by the Land and Water team highlight that irrigators still have improvements to make, regardless of age of equipment.

It's great to see irrigators advance their levels of technology and application systems.

Both Queensland state government programs (SEQIF and RWUEI stage 4) are funded through to June 2013 and Growcom will endeavour to continue these programs because of the benefits they are achieving.

Topics:  alex livingstone columns comment environment growcom reef rescue

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