Our Plan for Hinchinbrook

Our tropical, coastal environment, nationally significant wetlands, strong, diverse communities and important agricultural industries make our Local Landscape a special place to be part of.

Our highly diverse natural environments provide important habitat for a huge range of plants and animals, many of them threatened and quite a few found nowhere else.

We have productive agricultural land and appealing towns, all located within this natural landscape. Our community has the skills and the passion to work together to manage and enhance these values.

Our three top priorities

1. Water

We will enhance the quality of our water and the condition of our waterways.

We live in a vast delta. Our coastal waterways and tidal systems provide immense value, for their cultural, social, environmental and economic contributions to our region. Our waterways are particularly important for sustaining our farming communities, our tropical lifestyle and our unique environmental values.

If our waterways are healthy, they contribute to healthier coastal and terrestrial environments, as well as more sustainable industries and communities.

Examples of our priority actions to enhance our waterways include:

• Construct fish passages to improve fish movement throughout our waterways eg. Lagoon Creek, Post Office Creek.
• Conduct targeted weed management in priority riparian areas.
• Establish riparian demonstration sites to showcase good riparian management.

“We want to make the waterways a great place to enjoy fishing/boating. We can turn the waterways into a valued community asset that everyone will be proud of.”

“We want to see the community and landholders working together, so waterway restoration is everyone’s responsibility.”

2. Community Values

We will work to ensure our community understands and appreciates the environmental, cultural, economic and recreational values of our natural areas.
We value our communities’ strength, diversity and community pride.

It is these characteristics which can help bring about a positive environmental cultural change. When people see the value and success of good environmental management, a change in attitudes slowly begins.

A ripple effect gradually takes place, with more and more people becoming involved. We have developed some excellent partnerships through our region and beyond, and have access to great information. We can make sure this information is easily available to the broader community to help decision-making and bring about on-ground action.

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Develop education programs using demonstration sites and case studies to encourage a positive cultural change regarding environmental management.
• Support landholders with access to NRM knowledge and data to help decision-making processes.
• Establish a local, native plant nursery for revegetation and landscaping.

3. Sustainable Industries

Our region’s industries will be sustainable, diverse and resilient, supporting our communities and natural environments.

Our Local Landscape has a long history of strong agricultural industries and is recognised as one of Australia’s largest sugar producing areas. Diversification of our industries will help provide resilience, enabling our communities to cope better with challenges like natural disasters and potential impacts of climate change.

Long-term sustainability of our farming lands is also important for our families and communities, and we can help achieve this by carefully managing our natural resources and improving productivity on our cultivated areas. In addition to our sugar cane farms and other agricultural and grazing enterprises, the contribution of tourism to our economy is also growing.

Examples of our priority actions include:

• Conduct trials for testing the effectiveness of various microbial and fungal products to increase agricultural productivity.
• Market the natural areas and attractions of the region to increase nature-based tourism.

“Plenty of travellers just drive through/past – so why not give them incentive to stop and stay a while. Diversify the local economy and bring a few more $ to town from travellers who stay.”

Other priorities:

In addition, our community will investigate and implement effective and innovative techniques for improving biosecurity outcomes for our Local Landscape, particularly reducing the impact of feral animals.

For more detail on the priority actions identified by the community for our Local Landscape, click on this link.