Project Officer - Water Quality


Sugar Research Australia


Mackay, Queensland

Salary etc:

1 year Fixed-term.

A great opportunity to be a part of a team project funded through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Reef Trust Partnership.

  • Undertake hands on science to benefit the industry and the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Use your technical knowledge to help growers make improvements to their farms.
  • Communicate the benefits of sustainable farming practices to the industry.

About SRA

Sugar Research Australia (SRA) is owned by the Australian sugar industry and is a global leader in sugarcane industry research and development. SRA strives to shape the future prosperity of the Australian sugarcane industry and regional communities through innovation and ingenuity.

We have highly dedicated and passionate people working on industry-critical projects to deliver tangible value outcomes and impact for our industry stakeholders.

About the role

The project aims to build knowledge of farming practices and their effects on water quality (leaving the paddock) and productivity. This knowledge can then be used by growers and advisors to select farming practices which are both beneficial for the environment and farm production. The position supports the project through a mix of hard (technical) and soft (gaining practice change) extension skills.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Establish demonstration sites on suitable farms, including the installation and maintenance of in-field water quality sampling equipment, leading to grower discussion of results, and assisting in knowledge delivery.
  • Collect and process water samples, including collection on weekends and public holidays, depending on timing of rainfall and collection of yield data.
  • Facilitate farmer and industry meetings aimed at improving their knowledge of water quality issues, specifically related to nitrogen and pesticides.
  • Engage with farmers and industry stakeholders to communicate results of the demonstrations, including the development of suitable communication material (e.g., Fact Sheets).

About you - required experience and attributes

You will be a highly motivated person who shows initiative and likes working outdoors and engaging with external farmers and growers. You will have:

  • A Degree in Agriculture, Environmental Science, or a related discipline or commensurate experience.
  • Demonstrated extension, or scientific or farm management experience.
  • An ability to safely use a range of vehicular equipment, including loading, securing, unloading and towing of trailers and farm equipment including fertiliser and pesticide applicators.
  • A high level of physical fitness and ability to work under hot and humid weather conditions, as well as ability and willingness to work in-field alone, as required.
  • A proven ability to exercise effective project management skills, particularly in planning and implementing project deliverables.
  • An ability and willingness to work weekends and Public Holidays, as required (should rainfall run-off events occur on weekends and/or Public Holidays, samples must be collected from the in-field samplers).
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to work within a team environment.
  • An ability to maintain a high standard of workplace health and safety.

The successful applicant will be required to undertake a medical screening and a police check. This is a 12-month fixed term role.


Date published:


Closing date:

30-May-2022, 8am