22 June 2016


WWF-Australia today welcomed the Queensland Government’s $7 million purchase of Cape York cattle property Springvale Station which generates much of the sediment pollution flowing to the Great Barrier Reef’s far northern section.

“This is unprecedented – never before has a government bought land to protect the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef,” said WWF-Australia spokesperson Sean Hoobin.

“Springvale station is a pollution hotspot generating 40% of the sediment from gully erosion in the Normanby basin, which is the largest Reef catchment in Cape York."

“Large volumes of mud wash off this station and out into Reef waters which stresses the coral."

“The Far Northern section of the Reef has just been severely bleached and has lost 50% of its coral."

“Action to reduce sediment pollution from Springvale will help the surviving coral to bounce back,” Mr Hoobin said.

A 2013 report into sediment pollution in the Normanby catchment noted that “gully erosion rates have increased greater than 10 times since European settlement in some locations” and linked the acceleration to the introduction of cattle.

The Queensland Government has indicated that cattle will be removed from Springvale.

Mr Hoobin said Traditional Owners could play a very valuable role in the ongoing management and remediation of Springvale.

Media Contact: Mark Symons, Senior Media Officer, 0400 985 571