Reports that farmers’ organisation AgForce has deleted data about a program used by graziers to cut Great Barrier Reef pollution “makes no sense” and risks flushing vital knowledge down the drain, the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says.
Responding to reports that AgForce had deleted years of data from the Queensland Government’s voluntary Best Management Practice (BMP) program, Dr Lissa Schindler, Great Barrier Reef campaign manager at AMCS, said: “The BMP program is a positive initiative where graziers could improve their profitability and sustainability as well as cleaning up the water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.
“Millions of taxpayer dollars have been put into this program over the past ten years – about 11 million dollars of taxpayer money has been spent on BMP programs.This severely hampers the chance to measure the success of this program, learn from it, and improve it.”
“This move by Agforce makes no sense as the government’s new water quality regulations that are waiting to be passed do not even require this data. The regulations require data from fertiliser sellers and mills.”
The Queensland Government’s Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee has recommended the proposed Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 be passed.
Schindler added: “If this was such a concern to Agforce why not raise this during the committee hearing process of the bill?
“This isn’t just bad news for our Reef, but it’s bad news for all the AgForce members who took that crucial step to improve their practices and help the Reef.
“Improving water quality will be vital if the Great Barrier Reef is to have a fighting chance of surviving climate change, which scientists all agree is the Reef’s biggest threat.”
AMCS Media Adviser Graham Readfearn 0406 241 081