Fitzroy Partnership for River Health News!

July 2016 edition....

Minister Lynham launches 14-15 Report Card

Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources, recently launched the 2014-15 Report Card in Rockhampton. Minister Lynham is pictured here (second from right) with Dr Roger Shaw, Fitzroy Partnership Science Panel spokesperson, Executive Officer Nathan Johnston and Co-Chair Ian Gordon. 
The take home messages from the latest Report Card on the waterways in the Fitzroy Basin included the heartening news that the long term trend for waterway health across the Fitzroy Basin has been maintained.   According to Fitzroy Partnership Executive Officer Nathan Johnston an overall 'B' grade was awarded for the Fitzroy Basin for the second year in a row. 

"Given the Fitzroy Basin is a centre of resources, agriculture and urban growth and has undergone both significant drought and flooding activity in recent years it is heartening that the last five reports reveal that ecosystem health has been maintained, with no significant degradation of results throughout the Basin," Mr Johnston said. 

"The best performing catchments across the Basin were shown to be the Nogoa and the Estuary, with good barramundi recruitment contributing to the improved estuary result.

"The Callide was again the worst performing catchment, with ongoing legacy issues associated with the historic Mount Morgan Mine site likely to be a major contributing factor."

For more details of the performance of the Fitzroy Basin for 2014-15 visit

Spotlight on Mt Morgan Mine management

Speaking at the Fitzroy Basin Water Forum in Rockhampton, Hon Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines cemented the Queensland Government's support for management of the Mount Morgan mine.  The Government announced a management agreement late in 2015 with Carbine Resources for water treatment at the 130-plus-year-old mine. 

Mount Morgan's Dee River in the Callide catchment has long been a low performer in aquatic ecosystem health due to legacy issues associated with the mine, with the 2014-15 Report Card again rating the Callide catchment as the worst performer across the Basin. 

Comparative analysis of five year trends for the Callide show a consistently lower score for sulphate, cadmium, cobalt and several other indicators compared to the other ten freshwater catchments. For more detail on Callide's performance visit

Cotton Australia leads Ag industry support

The Fitzroy Partnership again reported on the quality of water for agricultural use in the Fitzroy Basin when it released its 2014-15 Report Card.   Overall A and B grades were awarded for stock and cropping use across the Basin. Upper Isaac and Comet received B grades for water for stock use; while Callide, Upper Isaac and Comet received B grades for water for cropping use.  

As Foundation Partners we thank Cotton Australia for their ongoing support of the Partnership in the agricultural space.  Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray (pictured with Nathan Johnston) presented at the recent Fitzroy Basin Water Forum on the cotton industry's myBMP and water initiatives.  To view the detail on quality of water for stock and cropping use in the Fitzroy Basin visit or for Michael Murray's presentation please click here. 

HeART of Basin Scholarship awarded

CQUnversity PhD candidate Evan Chua was presented with the inaugural HeART of the Basin Scholarship recently, a $2,000 one-off scholarship to support Mr Chua's research into aquatic ecosystem health in the Fitzroy Basin. 

Pictured (second from right with CQUniversity's Dr Nicole Flint, Science Panel member Dr Roger Shaw and FPRH Co-Chair Mr Ian Gordon) Mr Chua's research topic - 'Development of a toolbox for fish health assessment in aquatic ecosystems associated with coal and gas industries in the Fitzroy Basin' will increase the Partnership's information and data surrounding ecological health.  The scholarship, initiated to honour the contribution of inaugural Science Panel Chair, Professor Barry Hart, aims to support local CQUniversity students, and advance research to assist the Partnership's vision of providing a more complete picture of river health in the Fitzroy Basin.

A's for drinking water: Rocky & CH Councils

Partners Rockhampton Regional Council and Central Highlands Regional Council recently received an independent tick of approval as the Fitzroy Partnership 2014-15 Report Card awarded A-grades for their drinking water supplies for the fifth year in a row. 

Executive Officer Nathan Johnston said the Partnership added an additional level of scrutiny to the drinking water supplies in each township in the Rockhampton and Central Highlands council areas, which should be a comfort to local residents.  The results confirmed health guidelines were never exceeded and only minor exceedances of aesthetic guidelines were recorded during the 2014-15 period.  For more detail on drinking water in Rockhampton and Central Highlands visit

Strategic Plan set for Partnership 2016-2021

Fitzroy Partnership has recently released its Strategic Plan directing its activities for the coming five years from 2016 to 2021.  The Strategic Plan outlines:
  • where Partnership operations fit in the waterway health sphere,
  • the focus and scope of the Partnership and
  • detail behind the Partnership's five goals.  
To obtain a copy, please contact Nathan Johnston at 

Water Forum Presentations - available online 

The recent Fitzroy Basin Water Forum brought together a diverse range of speakers and experts to discuss the waterway issues facing the Fitzroy Basin now and into the future.  To access the presentations from this event please click here. 
If you would like more information about joining the partnership please contact:

Nathan Johnston - Executive Officer
P: 07 4999 2821 | M: 0400 221 055 | E:
If you have a more general comment or request, please contact:
Luke Ukkola - Science Integration Coordinator
P: 07 4999 2819 | E:

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health
Level 1, 80 East Street
PO Box 139 Rockhampton, QLD 4700
FBA is the current host organisation of the Fitzroy Partnership for River Health.

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