Growers go for final reef funding round

Banana growers have jumped at the chance to take advantage of the final round of Reef Water Quality Grants on offer.
A total of 40 formal applications were lodged for Round 8 – the final round of reef projects to gain funding assistance from the Australian Government. The applications were submitted by late April and followed the lodgement of 58 Expressions Of Interest in March.

Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) Reef Grants Officer Robert Mayers assisted growers with the EOIs and applications and will also help with extension work on the funded projects.

In 2014, more than 40 projects were approved and completed and are now assisting growers to better manage nutrient application and run off, helping  improve the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

“The projects are prioritised to make sure the investment being made has the maximum benefit to the environment. Growers are using the funding assistance for things such as manual or automated fertigation sysems, side-throw slashers, fertilser spreaders, improvements to block levels, on-farm roads and drainage and contouring permanent beds,” Robert said.

The grants provide up to 50 per cent funding support of up to $30,000 for projects on single farms and $150,000 for multifarm operations.