Gulf and Peninsula News

Cattle station wins Reef Champion award

Reef Champion Award winners – Woodleigh Cattle Station’s Waddell family Lawrie Strang, Kate Waddell, Sam Waddell, Peter Waddell, Rachel Strang and Ellen Golebiowski.

A TABLELANDS grazing family with a passion for farming sustainably has won a Queensland Reef Champion award.

Woodleigh Cattle Station’s Peter and Kate Waddell were named Reef Sediment Champions at an awards ceremony in Mackay on Tuesday that honoured Queenslanders working to reduce our impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Waddells live 130km from the ocean but work on their property to repair extensive gullies, fix eroded tailings dams, create off-stream watering points and change grazing practices is helping the Reef nonetheless by stopping thousands of tonnes of sediment from fl owing there each year.

“Woodleigh has been run by our family for more than a century and we want our young ones who are coming on to see the benefits and to love the land as much as we do,’’ Kate Waddell said.

The family is working with Terrain NRM on improvements including engineered earthworks and natural grazing practices as part of the Australian Government-funded Herbert River Gully and Grazing Program but their passion for protecting the land began much earlier when they introduced changes like wet season spelling and off-stream watering points.

Terrain NRM’s Jen Mackenzie said the Waddells were championing gully remediation work and grazing management practice change in the Upper Herbert region.

The Reef Champion Awards, run by the Reef Alliance with support from the Australian and Queensland governments, recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations.

Other Wet Tropics winners are Fishery Falls cane farmer Lenny Parisi, Aloomba canefarming family V Rossi and Sons and Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project extension officer Will Darveniza.

Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO Dr Georgina Davis congratulated the winners and finalists, saying it was important to acknowledge the efforts of farmers and others working with the agricultural sector and local communities to safeguard the future of the Reef and coastal systems.

For more information about Reef Champion Award winners, visit www.qff.org.au/projects/reef-alliance/2019-reef-champion-awards

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