New cane industry partnership to improve delivery of water quality projects

Wet Tropics cane growers to benefit from multi-million dollar partnership

John Tomlin, farmer Adrian Darveniza and Bob Stewart discuss the new Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership.

John Tomlin, farmer Adrian Darveniza and Bob Stewart discuss the new Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership.

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Stakeholders in the Wet Tropics cane industry are collaborating to ensure government funding for water quality projects is used wisely.

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A unique partnership between the cane industry and Terrain NRM has been formed to deliver a $10 million Australian Government investment to fast track Wet Tropics cane growers beyond industry best management practice. 

Chair Joe Marano said the Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership (WTSIP) was at the leading edge of an emerging trend of organisations working together to deliver water quality projects.

“There is a lot of investment coming into this region and we want to make sure it is well spent so that it benefits cane growers in terms of yields and profits as well as improving water quality,” Mr Marano said.

“There is no other partnership model like this in Australia but all 15 of the WTSIP partners recognised that it makes sense for us to work together because we’re all working towards the same purpose.

“We are already seeing the benefits of this arrangement.

“We can add extra value to these projects but also get more effective results in terms of water quality and the reef, while making a positive difference for cane growers too.”

The partnership is part of the reef-wide $56 million Reef Trust III program to reduce nutrients running off into the Great Barrier Reef.

WTSIP has recruited a team of 10 extension officers to work one-on-one with cane growers in high priority areas to help them make changes to their land management practices.

Mr Marano said that while WTSIP was set up to deliver Reef Trust III it is flexible enough to be able to adapt and expand to cater for other water quality projects that come along.

“WTSIP is also overseeing the delivery of the Reef Trust Repeated Tenders – Wet Tropics program as well as playing a leading role in the Major Integrated Project consortium in the Tully and Johnstone catchments,” he said. 

Sugar cane growers in the Wet Tropics are encouraged to contact their local extension officer.

To find out contact details search here 

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