24 Feb 2020

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) is getting behind Project Catalyst, a collective of sugar cane growers who are revolutionising water quality management for the Great Barrier Reef.

The Project Catalyst Annual Forum brings together growers, Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups, the Australian Government, WWF-Australia and The Coca-Cola Foundation. Project Catalyst has been transforming sugar cane management practices since 2008.

NQBP CEO Nicolas Fertin said NQBP is proud to support the annual forum in Mackay, February 23-25.

“NQBP recognises the far-reaching importance of innovation to help safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Fertin said.

“Innovation and robust science are the future of any industry - including ports. NQBP is proud to be associated with this world-renowned partnership which pioneers farm management practice change, leading to improved water quality for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

“With three ports on the doorstep to Great Barrier Reef, NQBP shares the same goal as Project Catalyst to manage a sustainable business with high levels of social and environmental integrity.”

Participating growers work on concepts and technologies that are then implemented across the regions to drive improvements for the environment and keep the viability of their farming businesses.

Ross Neivandt, Environmental Consultant and Project Coordinator for Catchment Solutions which oversees Project Catalyst, said NQBP is a valued addition to the supporters this year.

“It’s tremendous to have the support of NQBP, an industry leader renowned for environmental management and water quality monitoring,” Mr Neivandt said.

Mr Neivandt said Project Catalyst’s reach had expanded significantly from its founding numbers of just 19 growers.

“Today we are actively working with more than 130 cane growers that farm over 26,000 Hectares, from Mossman in the north to Koumala in the south,” Mr Neivandt.

More than 900,000 tonnes of raw and refined sugar combined was exported from Mackay Port via the Mackay Sugar Terminal in 2018-19.

“The Port of Mackay and the sugar industry have gone hand in hand since the port was built 81 years ago,” Mr Fertin said.

NQBP contact

Tom Davis | Digital Content Editor
(07) 3011 7972 | tdavis@nqbp.com.au