“Queensland Reef Quality Program
Growers interested in providing feedback to the Dept of Environment and Science can do so directly as per factsheet or alternatively provide your comments to this office to enable a submission to be lodged on behalf of the collective. Comments are to be provided to this office by Wednesday 14th February.
Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement is considering two options to accelerate improved reef water quality:
- Option 1 – The current approach – no additional legislation
- Option 2 – Enhance and broaden reef protection legislation (Option preferred by government)
Summary Of Current Regulations In Relation To Sugarcane in the Burdekin:
- Growers required to comply with particular farming practices including fertiliser and chemical applications using prescribed methodologies.
- Calculating and applying the optimum amount of N and P.
- Mill mud nutrient deductions must be made from bag N and/or P fertiliser application rates.
- Record Keeping – growers are required to keep records of soil tests, use of N and P fertilisers and agricultural chemicals.
- Soil sampling and analysis – soil sampling regime must align with the minimum regulated method.
- BMP programs not formally recognised as an alternative means of complying with minimum regulatory standards.
Summary of Additional Regulations to that currently in place In Relation To Sugarcane (existing) in the Burdekin:
- Placement of fertiliser – no ground based broadcast fertiliser application.
- Calibration – Fertiliser equipment calibrated prior to the season, change of product and crop stage ie. plant and ratoon.
- Soil Loss Controls – Use of measures that will minimise the release of soil to receiving waters. At least one of the following practices are utilised:
- A green cane trash blanket,
- Laser levelling away from watercourses.
- Recycling pit or constructed wetlands designed to capture run-off.
- Fertiliser re-sellers to keep and produce records of nutrient application advice provided to their clients.
Stage 2 (to be undertaken within two years of the regulation commencing)
- In addition to continuance of stage 1 adoption of a nutrient management plan in all reef catchments within two years of commencement of legislation
With Option 2 growers accredited against BMP or like programs will be deemed as complying with the minimum regulatory standards.”