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Heads together for the Great Barrier Reef

Extension services in Great Barrier Reef catchments were under discussion at the  Cross-Regional Extension Coordination Workshop in Brisbane on 4-5 February.

The event attracted seven Regional Extension Coordinators and 40 extension officers from Queensland’s seven Great Barrier Reef natural resource management regions.

Extension officers work directly with farmers and land managers to support improved practice.

The Extension Coordination project is looking at how extension services can be improved to support Great Barrier Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan outcomes.

Key activities include establishing Regional Extension Networks of extension staff, setting up facilitated Peer to Peer land manager groups, and providing Flexible Funding for land - based projects proposed by Peer to Peer group members.

Cape York NRM’s Regional Extension Coordinator Oliver McConnachie attended the workshop with Endeavour River Productivity Network Group Facilitator Trevor Meldrum, a Cooktown -  based group of graziers and producers.

Coordinators presented their regional Extension Plan summaries, and discussed key achievements while extension officers shared their first hand experiences of working with land managers under the Extension Coordination model.

Manager—Reef Extension Coordination, Dr Niall Connolly, organised the workshop.

‘There are many challenges in Reef extension, and the best way to come up with solutions is to hear first-hand from a wide variety of representatives,’ Dr Connolly said.

‘There were some great discussions held with ideas generated to improve outcomes by better considering regional capacity, minimise duplication and competition between programs, and build collaboration and cross-program coordination.’

Cape York NRM’s Regional Extension Officer Oliver McConnachie can be contacted on or 0472 597 854.

This initiative is funded by the Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Program and delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries with partner organisations Cape York NRM and Terrain NRM