Organisations are working together and forming partnerships in order to make the most of reef investment coming into the region.
As more Government funding is being made available for reef projects a new trend is beginning to emerge. Partnerships are the new norm and the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership is not the only organisation seeking to capitalise on collaboration.
The Reef Alliance Project's decision to put forward a joint collaborative bid when the Australian Government announced its Reef Trust III funding was a significant turning point. The GBR-wide partnership involving 12 organisations was successful in its bid to secure $45.6M to support farmers and graziers to improve their practices, and in the process, spurred on the trend towards the formation of partnerships.
Joe Marano, Chair of the Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership, a partner to the Reef Alliance Project, said it makes sense for organisations to work together to make the most of the investment coming into the region.
"We are all more effective if we work together. It encourages consistent approaches with good collective decision making, creates efficiencies, reduces confusion and avoids duplication. It's the best way to create good outcomes for water quality as well as for the various industries involved," he said.
In the Wet Tropics region WTSIP is responsible for delivering the Reef Alliance's cane targets to transition 399 cane growers beyond best management practice and fast track the implementation of innovative practices.
The Partnership has employed a network of 10 Extension Officers to work with growers across the region.
The partnership also has oversight of the Australian Government's Reef Trust IV Repeated Tenders program and is playing a major role in the Major Integrated Project (MIP) in the Tully and Johnstone catchments.
Joe said WTSIP chose to become a member of the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership because the Wet Tropics Report Card plays an important role alongside all these projects.
"With all the investment and effort being poured into practice change in the cane industry it is critical that we have robust reporting in place so we can track changes in water quality and give our growers the confidence that their efforts are making a difference," he said.