Natural resources investment program
Between 2018 and 2022, we invested more than $61 million through the Natural Resources Investment Program (NRIP).
NRIP funding delivered tangible benefits including outcomes for grazing land, vegetation, wetlands, and reef water quality. NRIP priorities also recognised the importance of engaging and supporting people in regional Queensland, and building science and knowledge. A total of 59 projects were funded across the state, delivering on-ground improvements, building community capability and trialling innovative technologies.
The program delivered:
- 314,933 hectares of improved land condition – equivalent to the combined size of Brisbane and Sunshine Coast local government areas
- 158,168 hectares of improved native vegetation condition
- 34,020 tonnes less sediment entering reef waterways per year
- 3,917 hectares of improved wetland condition
- 94,904 trees planted across Queensland
- 251 kilometres of stock exclusion fencing installed
- 410,543 hectares of improved grazing practices
- 160 hectares of steambank and gullies repaired
- 92 jobs (created or maintained).
Where we made improvements
NRIP invested in improving the health and stability of soils in order to improve land condition, with a focus on grazing land.
NRIP projects achieved improvements in land condition across 277,516 hectares. This involved:
- installing new watering points to spread grazing pressure
- installing fencing to spell paddocks
- improving pasture quality
- reducing stocking rates
- improving the use of control burning
- treating more than 35,969 hectares of pest plants that degrade land condition.
The Land Condition Assessment Tool (LCAT) is a science-based assessment framework that was utilised as part of NRIP. LCAT combines simple design and contemporary technologies.
Queensland’s unique and important vegetation is threatened by weeds, pest animals (including livestock), wildfires and fragmentation. Although clearing of vegetation is regulated through the vegetation management framework, NRIP projects have also achieved improvements in vegetation condition through a range of activities. These include:
- managing more than 101,746 hectares of pest plants
- managing more than 20,729 hectares of pest animal management
- planting 91,454 trees
- installing 174 kilometres of fencing
- revegetating 116 hectares
- supporting improved grazing practices in more than 33,766 hectares of land.
Water and waterways
There are many threats to the health of Queensland’s waterways including land clearing, loss of creekside vegetation, poor land management resulting in gullies and erosion, run-off from land-based activities, weed infestation, modifications to the flow of water including through dams and irrigation and climate extremes.
NRIP projects reduced the amount of sediment flowing into waterways by:
- repairing 160 hectares of degraded steambanks gullies, including planting 2770 trees for stabilisation
- improving grazing practices over 73,435 hectares.
Reported sediment savings from improved grazing are 7587 tonnes per year and the health of waterways has also been improved by managing threats and removing fish barriers across 3917 hectares of wetlands.
People and communities
All NRIP projects have collaborated with, and supported, a wide diversity of participants, to harness the knowledge, energy and commitment of people to build resilient natural landscapes.
NRIP projects have:
- supported landholders and managers to make changes through incentives, training and networking
- provided funding through local community groups to deliver outcomes
- harnessed the knowledge of local communities and landholders in science and innovation initiatives
- built capacity of landholders to actively monitor the condition of their land and vegetation
- worked in partnership with local government and science entities to deliver projects
- produced communication and educational products
- found the ‘win-win’ solutions that deliver benefits for the environment and the community.
Working with Traditional Owners
Australia’s Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people have been managing and caring for country for tens of thousands of years, and bring experience, knowledge and passion to contemporary government programs such as NRIP. As part of the People and Communities component of NRIP, projects engaged with and supported Traditional Owners to undertake natural resource management initiatives on country.
South East Queensland
Traditional Owners of Bribie Island have worked collaboratively on co-management of their ancestral lands, as well as active management, such as the removal of weeds, the restoration of vegetation and a return to cultural burning. They have been supported to map and survey the cultural archaeological indicators such as old cypress pines, documenting the cultural landscape including important plant associations.
Collaboration with Traditional Owners on major gully remediation created an opportunity to provide machinery operator training together with erosion science modules to local First Nations ranger groups and entities. Training was also provided in the use of GPS, GIS and mapping techniques.
Working with ranger groups and community across the Torres Strait, NRIP funded projects focussed on improving native vegetation through management of wild horse populations and revegetation to provide vegetation cover and assist in restoring soil condition. Other projects were founded in Traditional Ecological Knowledge coupled with cutting-edge technologies.
State-wide indicators framework
The State-wide Indicators Framework (SWIF) – the first of its kind within the natural resource management (NRM) sector in Australia – provides consistent methods and tools for collecting data on the difference a project has made, as well as smart systems for analysing and combining this data.
The end-to-end system enables a project team member to collect monitoring data in the field using one of the SWIF Apps. Monitoring data collected at the regional level is aggregated into a statewide data set. This is displayed via an interactive dashboard which allows the viewer to explore the monitoring results in a range of ways. The detailed monitoring data remains in the regions, supporting regional reporting as well as informing continuous improvement of projects.
Find out more
- Natural Resources Investment Program summary report (PDF, 5.1MB)
- Past NRIP reports in our library collection
Last reviewed: 28 March 2023