Griffith researchers help Sandy Creek farmers improve water quality

Griffith University researchers will work with cane growers on a $700,000 Queensland State Government project to improve water quality in the Sandy Creek catchment.

The Sandy Creek catchment and growers will benefit from the new project which Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles said would build on earlier work to investigate and address water quality issues related to pesticide and fertiliser use.

“This project builds on its successful predecessor, engaging with local cane farmers monitoring water quality and working in partnership to document changing farm practices aimed at reducing nutrient and pesticide run-off into Sandy Creek,” Mr Miles said.

Griffith University will work with the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation in partnership with Mackay Area Productivity Services, Farmacist, and other regional partners on the project.

Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Director of Griffith Business School’s Social Marketing @ Griffith team, said they would work with different groups of cane growers to document their experience in the project.

“We will bring growers voices forward,’’ she said.

The project will involve cane growers measuring run-off water quality and working with Griffith researchers and other service providers on improved farm management practice.

The Sandy Creek on-farm change for water quality improvement project is part of a funding pool of $1.22 million dedicated to help the Great Barrier Reef through four science projects to reduce sediment and nutrient losses in priority reef catchment areas of the Burdekin, Fitzroy and Mackay and Whitsundays.

​The Sandy Creek catchment is a coastal drainage system located on the southern Pioneer River floodplain, originating south of the township of Mirani.​