Assessing the feasibility and net costs of achieving water quality targets: A case study in the Burnett-Mary region, Queensland, Australia

Beverly1, A. Roberts2, F.R. Bennett3

1 Agriculture Research and Development Division, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victoria,

2 Natural Decisions Pty Ltd, Victoria.

3 Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management, Bundaberg, Queensland.


This paper describes the construction of a bio-economic optimisation framework to evaluate the feasibility and net profit (or net costs) of achieving water quality targets in the Burnett-Mary region within the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), southern Queensland, Australia.  Key outcomes from the study were that current sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus load reduction targets could be achieved whereas more ambitious ecologically relevant targets required significant additional investment and were not feasible based on the model if individual basins must meet the targets.