FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is inviting local groups to apply for up to $5-million in funding to reduce and manage the impact of soil erosion in gullies surrounding the Great Barrier Reef catchments.
The funding, provided under the $140 million Reef Trust, is one of a number of practical projects the Government is delivering to reduce runoff and improve water quality on the Reef.
“Sediment erosion causes the highest amounts of fine sediment runoff to the Great Barrier Reef, which directly affects seagrass and corals,” said Mr Entsch.
“Funding will be made available for activities which will tackle gully erosion, such as revegetation, the erection of fencing and building minor structures to protect key areas and prevent sediment runoff.”
Minister for the Environment, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, said the programme builds on Australia’s efforts in protecting the Great Barrier Reef, which were recognised and praised at the UNESCO meeting in Bonn, Germany, earlier this year.
“This programme will address one of the greatest threats to the Great Barrier Reef, and the Government is looking for local partners to deliver this important work from 2015 to 2018,” he said.
“We are committed to ensuring that the Reef is protected for this and future generations to enjoy.”
The Department of the Environment is working closely with prominent gully erosion scientists from CSIRO to ensure the design and implementation of the programme is based on the best technical and scientific advice. This team of experts from the CSIRO, led by Dr Scott Wilkinson, brings the latest scientific knowledge and experience in gully remediation techniques to the delivery team.
The programme will target areas of high-density gullies in the Burnett Mary, Fitzroy, Burdekin and Cape York natural resource management regions.
Applications for the funding will close on 26 November 2015, and more information is available at www.environment.gov.au/reef-trust