The Great Barrier Reef is precious.
A unique national icon and important to the whole world.
But it is in trouble. CLIMATE CHANGE
Almost half its coral cover has been lost since 1985...
... and there was major bleaching this year.
Climate change is the biggest long term threat to the reef.
Improving water quality now will help the reef bounce back.
Farmers are the lifeblood of our regional communities. But farms are the main source of pollutants to the reef.
Other land uses like ports, industry, mining and urban development have locally significant impacts.
Sediment runoff prevents seagrass and coral getting the sunlight they need to thrive.
Nutrient runoff from fertiliser is linked to outbreaks of coral eating crown-of-thorns starfish.
The Taskforce has recommended key ways to substantially reduce the runoff of sediment and nutrients;
... and priorities for investing an additional $90 million in Queensland Government funding over four years.
There have been significant efforts to reduce runoff, but progress has not been fast enough due to complexity, fragmentation and poor communication.
We know we will need new technologies, innovative practices and land use change to reach the targets.
Broad consultation on the Interim Report helped shape the 10 recommendations in the Final Report.
There is no one silver bullet to improve water quality.
Collaborative problem solving, significant additional funding and a range of different tools will be required.
Many approaches have been successfully applied in the past but were often poorly aligned and used in isolation. So we were not getting the maximum benefit.
We need to provide more extension support so farmers are informed and equipped to make changes.
We need to make greater use of financial support and incentives.
Everyone needs to be part of the solution and better communication is needed to support large scale management practice and social change.
Science efforts must be better aligned to priority needs. And we need funding for innovation to support the application of new solutions.
More reef-wide as well as finer scale, on-farm monitoring will help communicate progress.
Government and industry must work together to develop staged and targeted regulations to bring everyone up to a minimum water quality standard.
Two major, integrated projects will test the combination of recommendations - one targeting nutrient and pesticide run-off in the Wet Tropics, and one targeting sediment in the Burdekin.
The Taskforce has also identified how the $90 million should be allocated.
We are all in this together. Saving the Reef by improving water quality...for our kids, our grandkids and beyond.
Read the Final Report - www.gbr.qld.gov.au.