There is a rumour around that Burnett graziers do it better than anywhere else in Australia. By “do it better” we mean do more to improve catchment health and productivity with their funding than landholders elsewhere. At least that’s what BCCA’s Better Burnett team is trying prove by carrying out monitoring on funded on ground projects.
The last month has seen the hard working Better Burnett coordinators on properties conducting preliminary monitoring and evaluation on funded project sites.
Monitoring the success of on ground works is essential to determining the success of the projects. “When we accept this public money in our region we are required by contract to demonstrate that this investment is improving catchment health as well as productivity to ensure that investment to the Burnett continues” said Better Burnett Program Manager Dean Power.
The monitoring and evaluation procedure varies depending on the type of on ground project. If the project is Better Beef, it will be improving pasture condition and utilisation through strategic fencing or the installation of watering points. Then the DPI&F pasture monitoring tool “Stocktake” is used which involves assessing land condition in terms of ecosystem health and long-term paddock productivity.
If the project is Better Waterways aimed at improving the water course and water quality, the installation of fencing and/or off-stream watering points to manage grazing are likely to be what the funding is used for. The team will then assess the riparian condition in terms of erosion, vegetation and water quality.
For a Better Bush project aimed at improving or enhancing the biodiversity, the vegetation in terms of condition, recruitment, structural integrity and habitat values is assessed.
Rick Payne (pictured below) is fencing to improve the productivity and utilisation of his pastures on “LeLant” which will in turn provide catchment wide benefits through improved grazing land management.
To date, the Better Burnett program has funded 31 on ground projects which accounts for 33885ha of pasture land enhanced, 1620 ha of native vegetation protected, 66km of riparian vegetation enhanced and the installation of 102 watering points.
So if you see the Better Burnett team out in a paddock on their hands and knees counting grass, you will know they are doing their best to ensure future funding for Burnett’s graziers!!!
Project landholder Rick Payne with Better Bush Coordinator, Louise Newman, Better Beef Coordinator, Katie Sibson and Better Waterways Coordinator, Stacey Hodge over looking Rick’s improved pastures
Better Beef Coordinator, Katie Sibson & Better Bush Coordinator, Louise Newman recording “Stocktake” data