Media release: Tuesday 3 October 2023 – A recent landmark purchase of $10 million in Reef Credits by the Queensland Government will inject critical support to this emerging environmental water quality market, which is dedicated to making verifiable contributions to improving the health of the Great Barrier Reef and aiding in its long term recovery. GreenCollar is one of two organisations from which the Queensland Government has purchased Reef Credits.
“This strategic investment in Reef Credits by the Queensland Government is extremely significant in terms of building market confidence, coming as it does on top of the 40,000 Reef Credits GreenCollar has already generated and already sold to a mix of investors,” said Carole Sweatman, GreenCollar’s General Manager of Water. ”This purchase is not only playing an invaluable role in encouraging private sector investment into the Great Barrier Reef, it is instrumental in supporting Queensland agriculture and improving the health of this vast and vital World Heritage ecosystem.”
Reef Credits are generated from land management projects – specifically gully remediation and nutrient efficiency projects – run in partnership with a wide range of farmers, graziers and landholders on agricultural properties in the Reef catchment area. These projects are dedicated to improving water quality by reducing run-off of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and fine sediment from making its way into the Great Barrier Reef. One Reef Credit corresponds to a kilogram of DIN or 538 kilograms of fine sediment prevented from entering the reef.
Reef Credits are sold to businesses, investors, philanthropists and governments that are either striving to reach water quality targets or to achieve corporate sustainability outcomes. In this manner, Reef Credits also provide land managers with a diversified income stream, which they can reinvest into ongoing farm practice improvements in the Queensland agricultural industry – including more efficient fertiliser usage, repairing gullies or installing wetlands – all of which improve water quality.
“The critical importance of these projects from which Reef Credits are generated, which work to reduce DIN and fine sediment runoff to the Reef – and their potential to be scaled up – cannot be understated, particularly when UNESCO’s recent decision not to list this World Heritage site as ‘in danger’ came with a note that ‘a drastic shift was needed to reach water quality targets for fine sediment and dissolved nitrogen’,” Ms Sweatman said. “The ongoing development of the Reef Credits market is therefore crucial to encouraging increased and ongoing private sector investment in the health of the Reef ecosystem, which will significantly augment federal and state government initiatives.”
“Investments of this size are also really important and positive for landholders in the Reef catchment areas,” Ms Sweatman said. “In helping to stimulate and build confidence in the market, farmers, graziers and landholders can participate in, and undertake their projects, knowing demand for the Reef Credits generated from them is growing”.
GreenCollar works closely with delivery partners Greening Australia and Neilly Group Engineering on the projects generating the Reef Credits that are being purchased by the Queensland Government. The extensive expertise and experience in Greening Australia and Neilly Group is important to the success of high quality gully and wetland projects.