1 February 2022. By AgForce CEO Michael Guerin

Good news clearly doesn’t sell (or get clicks) – you need only look at headlines like ‘Billions thrown at our Reef grief’ and ‘$1bn top-up to keep Reef off UN’s list’ in response to the Federal Government’s announcement of $1 billion to help protect our iconic Great Barrier Reef to see that.

Fortunately, however, even cynicism can’t hide the fact that this is clearly fantastic news – for the Reef, obviously, but also for Queensland agriculture and the farmers who call the Reef catchments home.

These are family-run businesses who have spent their hard earned to go above and beyond to voluntarily improve their practices to the point where the Reef is actually in recovery.

That’s not spin – it’s evidence-based science, and it’s available to anyone who cares to read it.

AgForce and its members have been beating the drum for years to highlight the fantastic work being done to improve the Reef’s water quality because, as Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said when making the funding announcement, “Our farmers…are our reef champions.”

Minister Ley’s view is formed in large part by AgForce’s long form policy work, lobbying, and advocacy efforts to highlight that farmers have slashed fertiliser use and dramatically improved their practices to look after the Reef.

So confident are the farmers I speak to that they would welcome anyone to their properties – politicians and Reef scientists alike – to see these advanced practices with their own eyes.

Because we all love the Reef and want to see it continue to flourish, we are pleased that urban runoff will now also be assessed as part of the Government’s funding arrangements – not only runoff from farms.

After all, the health of our planet – including that of the Reef – shouldn’t be dependent on who can point the most fingers or shout the loudest – but on every single one of us, working together for the greater good.