Queensland’s cane farmers have responded enthusiastically to a call for expressions of interest in the Australian Government’s $5 million Reef Trust Tender—Wet Tropics programme.
The expression of interest phase of the programme closed today with an overwhelming response, with over 200 EOIs submitted by Wet Tropics cane farmers.
This is positive news for the ongoing success of the programme, which offers farmers the opportunity to build on the work they have already done to improve their farming practices.
Reef Trust Tender—Wet Tropics is an innovative, market-based competitive tender offering financial incentives to cane farmers in the region who wish to improve nitrogen use efficiency on their farms.
Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt said, “Queensland farmers take seriously their role as environmental stewards and have demonstrated this through their overwhelming interest in this programme which seeks to improve nitrogen management on their farms and help protect water quality in the Great Barrier Reef”.
The programme is being delivered in collaboration with Terrain NRM who are helping the project reach its full potential through awareness raising, information workshops for interested farmers and on-ground support.
Terrain’s capacity to deliver on ground outcomes, their extensive experience of cane farming practices and strong partnerships with industry will greatly benefit this programme.
“This level of interest builds on the existing important achievements by cane farmers in the Wet Tropics to improve water quality. We look forward to working with cane farmers through the next phase of submitting projects”, said Terrain’s CEO, Carole Sweatman.
The programme gives interested farmers the flexibility to tailor their projects to their circumstances and needs.
Registered farmers will be invited to submit details of their project and asking price when the competitive tender opens from 19 January 2015.
Successful applicants will start receiving payments to support new management changes in 2015.
The Reef Trust Tender—Wet Tropics programme is one of a multitude of programmes by the Australian Government in partnership with other agencies, industry and communities to achieve a common goal – protecting and managing the reef for current future generations.