We are Australia’s largest regional University strategically placed to lead world-class research and teaching in the sustainability of life on land. In particular, the University research profile focuses on biology, ecology, toxicology, biosecurity in the conservation of terrestrial, agriculture and marine and freshwater systems.  Expansion of mining and industry in the Central Queensland region and serious environmental concerns associated with the development of Gladstone harbour and salinity in Australia’s second-largest river system (the Fitzroy and related tributaries) has resulted in a substantial increase in the demand for environmental research and training, for which we are a key service provider.

Research Centres and facilities

Our campuses are well placed to be on the doorstep of important eco-systems. This has resulted in increased research and training output from our staff and hands-on experiences for students. We have developed targeting research facilities in regions to focus on biology, ecology, toxicology and biosecurity in the conservation of terrestrial, agriculture and marine and freshwater system.

We collaborate with many stakeholders to develop partnerships

Institute for Future Farming Systems 

Our agricultural research program is a world leader in delivering practical solutions which are bolstering the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the livestock and horticulture sectors. We established our flagship Institute for Future Farming Systems (IFFS) to drive the delivery of new agricultural innovations, and provide an environment for practical, skills-based training and research-led teaching delivered by industry experts.

Among its many successes have been the development of the widely adopted hand-held NIRS (near-infrared spectrometry) gun, which assesses the ripeness of fruit, bolstering crop productivity through optimised harvest timing and improved fruit quality.

And in the livestock sector, the research team has developed automated data gathering tools to monitor the condition of individual animals and assist graziers to make more informed production and marketing decisions.

The Institute utilises world-class facilities including the laboratories at the Central Queensland Innovation Research Precinct (CQIRP) and the 3200-hectare Belmont Research Station.

Hinkler agtech initiative 

The Hinkler AgTech project is facilitating an expansion in agricultural production and agribusiness profitability by allowing local industry to access the latest Ag-Tech at the early stages of the commercial release as well as provide jobs growth by attracting Ag-Tech to the region. Future-proofing the region’s key agricultural industries through the latest innovative technologies will ensure the region is well-positioned to continue to build on its agricultural heritage for decades to come

Northern Crop Research Centre of Excellence 

Farmer, industry and research organisations are combining forces to deliver R and D activities specifically to meet the needs of the growing northern Australian cropping sector.

The Northern Australian Crop Research Centre of Excellence has been formed to bring together researchers with farm machinery leaders Vanderfield, farmers from the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association and Grain Producers Australia, and agribusiness expertise from the Central Highlands Development Corporation.

Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) and our University’s Spicing Up Northern Australia research project takes another step towards commercial viability.

Coastal Marine Environment Research Centre (CMERC)

CMERC is the only research facility located in Central Queensland focusing on the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Our research is providing environmentally sustainable solutions that protect the reef, allow growth of Australia's multi-billion-dollar blue economy, support the upstream agricultural communities, all while collaborating with Central Queensland communities.  Among both industry and regulators there is a strong appetite for innovation and the development of evidence-based best practice, particularly to support the verification of environment offset projects. The applied nature of the CMERC research addresses all these goals.

Research projects and programs

We are well placed to provide hands-on research outcomes to support the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Life on Land.

The following projects and initiatives are samples of the work the university has conducted in line with the SDG15 Life on Land.

Koala research 

Koala Research – CQ is a community funded research program hosted by our university. The project receives support and/or funding from a variety of stakeholders, research partners, community partners and individuals. The research group has been operating since 1994. It was established to support ongoing research and to initiate new projects on koala biology, habitat requirements and the effect on koala populations of rural, urban and industrial developments in Central Queensland.

Koala Research Projects include:

  • Cortisol Metabolites in the faeces of koalas as a measure of stress
  • Central Queensland Council's Koala Recovery Plans
  • Managing Central Queensland's Clarke Connors Range Koalas
  • Ecology and Management of Central Queensland's Koala Islands
  • Central Queensland's Koala Re-Introduction
  • Koala Mortality Blackspots on Regional Highways
  • Understanding the Ecology of Over-Abundant Koala Populations


The University’s DataMuster is a fast, simple and accurate research tool for automatically monitoring and managing the performance of a herd, right down to the individual animal. DataMuster's Automated Livestock Management Systems (ALMS) are comprised of walk-over-weigh scales, paddock-based auto-drafters and our DataHubs. These micro-computers capture and analyse animal data and transmit it to your web-based DataMuster software account. From your desktop, you can interrogate individual or group performance, and direct the auto-drafter to segregate animals for sale or health treatment.

In a major breakthrough for stud cattle breeders, researchers can now automatically track and record critical production data for calving dates.

The project pioneer water quality comparative study 

The Project Pioneer Water Quality Comparative Study was developed by the University by river health expert Dr Nicole Flint who said the data gathered in the trial provided insight into the potential impact that widespread adoption of regenerative grazing methods could have for improving the quality of water entering rivers in Reef catchments.

Low-emissions future with cow gut tech analysis

A University researcher has helped shape an Australian low-emissions future – by analysing technology to reduce cows’ burps. As part of the Australian Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap Taskforce, Mr Hazrat assessed the carbon abatement potential of feed and feed supplements, to reduce “enteric emissions” in cattle – that is, methane-producing burps. With Australian beef production forecast to increase by 16 per cent by 2030, Mr Hazrat said achieving carbon neutrality for the sector will rely on effective technological changes.

Strengthening food security in Fiji 

The Strengthening food security in Fiji project was developed by our researchers in Public Health, Agriculture and Nutrition who collaborated on an international project to empower the lives of Fijian women with the potential to strengthen food security, health outcomes and maximise economic impacts.

Challenging crop production

Research led by the University’s Dr Sabine Tausz-Posch has outlined four major ways that eCO2 will challenge the way crop production systems adapt to a world that will feature ~40% more CO2 in the atmosphere by 2050 compared to today. CO2 is one of the key resources determining plant growth, but we now know that different species and different varieties respond to elevated levels in very different ways. This has major implications for plant breeders, seed companies, farmers and environmental managers, as there will be uneven changes to the growth cycles of weeds as well as crop species, with flow-on impacts for plant diseases and pest insect populations

Outreach programs

CQUniversity is passionate about sharing its knowledge with local, national and global communities. The below programs are a sample of programs facilitated in 2019 and 2020 that have supported our work towards the Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Life on Land.

The ‘Women in Agri-tech’ project has created and fostered a strong network of female teachers who will become leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas. They will be guided by female researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop engaging learning resources which will, in turn, inspire girls in the classroom to realise the opportunities available to them.

Women in Agri-tech offer a range of programs and events for students and women in agriculture. This includes the Pitch Competition and the free access to twelve learning modules suitable for Year 7-12 students featuring agri-tech tools and systems which were written by the participants of the Women in Agri-tech Project.

RACE - Gippsland will deliver a range of hands-on, interactive, and engaging activities to primary and secondary students focused on raising aspirations in agriculture and building student capacity in STEM, digital technologies, agribusiness, manufacturing and food and fibre concepts.

The Teacher Farm Experience Program (TeacherFX) aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of STEM, digital technology and agriculture educators to allow them to incorporate food and fibre production into their teaching programs. As part of this partnership with Rabobank, CQUniversity has developed innovative and interactive resources for teachers to take back to the classroom and an evaluation framework to determine its success.

CQUniversity's Belmont Research Station is a vital tool for students and researchers at CQUniversity. This station provides hands-on experience and opportunities to trial developments in research and field trials. Day tours are conducted to showcase the work that the Institute of Future Farming is conducting. These tours include demonstrations on the Data Muster system and provide information on the riparian recovery trials and how this is measuring productivity and environmental changes on a series of fenced and unfenced paddocks.

CQUniversity partnered with Project Pioneer as a research partner which saw Central Queensland University’s (CQUni) Coastal Marine Research Ecosystems Centre contribute to research in the area of measuring sediment run-off from paired properties, to compare the difference between regenerative grazing and traditional grazing methods on sediment and water quality.

Every year thousands of tonnes of excess nutrients run off the land and out to the reef, reducing its resilience to recover from stress events like rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification and coral bleaching. However, a new project led by the Australian Seaweed Institute (ASI) in partnership with CQUniversity’s Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) will develop new technologies to enable seaweed biofilters to absorb nitrogen that can then be re-used as a bio-fertiliser on land.

CQUniversity students undertaking the Environmental Monitoring unit (ENVR11014) spent five days at Great Keppel (Wop-pa) Island (GKI) measuring and observing the plants and animals of the island as part of the Island Classroom partnership with Great Keppel Island Hideaway.

Forty-five students took advantage of the natural wonder of the world – the Great Barrier Reef – where they gained valuable hands-on experience while exploring all that GKI has to offer, including the after-hours activities such as snorkelling and hiking.

By using underwater cameras, students recorded various aquatic species and monitored their behaviour. Meanwhile inland, students completed vegetation monitoring, where they measured trees using tree calipers to calculate their carbon content, and installed pit traps and trail cameras to identify different land animals.

The Parasites in the Wild - Citizen Scientist Program saw participants develop a project plan addressing a hypothesis through the scientific method. Participants collected and identified ticks using field and laboratory equipment and easy-to-understand identification keys. Citizen Scientists will be able to get hands-on in the design and construction of laboratory and field equipment, including tick traps.

In 2019, CQUniversity Office of Indigenous Engagement Senior Project Coordinator Sam Johnston visited Botswana to share knowledge on how Indigenous People of Australia fight fires with fire and how this has been leading the way in community-based integrated fire management practises.

The conference theme was Fire Management – A key to sustainable livelihoods and Mr Johnston and the rangers presented at the event, highlighting a number of key topics including how Indigenous communities in northern Australia are reigniting the traditional practice of fighting fire with fire, how this approach combined with the latest science and technology is reducing wildfires and building locally-owned carbon businesses and how this technology is being adapted for the southern African landscape in partnership with Government of Botswana and local Indigenous communities.

Agriculture science research at the Institute for Future Farming Systems


CQUniversity is a world leader in agriculture science research specialising in non-invasive and precision agriculture technologies. The university's agriculture research delivers solutions that are bolstering the productivity of the livestock and horticultural sectors. CQUniversity's Institute for Future Farming Systems is made up of a team of researchers, research higher degree students and support staff with expertise in the major agriculture science discipline field and a commitment to quality research that has an impact for industry. The Institute for Future Farming Systems' team works closely with industry partners with a particular emphasis on industries based in the subtropical and tropical regions of northern Australia.

"Drip line is ideally suited to optimising the fertigation so it makes sense for us to work with this. Netafim are very keen for this trial to succeed and we're delighted to be involved with our collaborative partners. So those systems are being tested here with the hope of growing more crop for farmers in a more profitable way." Research activities are focused in three broad themes including precision livestock management, precision horticulture and non-invasive sensor systems.

"We're really looking at digital technologies and how we can apply those to industry problems and I guess gather new information to help us better understand but also to better manage cattle in the cattle industry in northern Australia. So I guess the biggest problem that we're really focused on is fertility. Fertility is a major driver of profitability but it's one of those really challenging areas to I guess measure and monitor the performance of cattle. So we're looking at automated ways of recording the fertility performance of cattle in remote locations. There's sort of a big drive at the moment around walk over weighing so this is where you have a weigh platform in a remote location; when cattle come onto water they walk across that platform, we use the electronic identification system in their ears, we know their identification, we know their weight and we're actually able to start telling you something about their performance.”

The team is also using technology to improve the understanding of animal behaviours, all with the view to improving on-farm profitability and productivity. "The problem within the seed stock industry is that it's difficult within extensive areas of Northern Australia to capture information such as maternal parentage and calving date. Calving date, in particular, is a key parameter in determining how effective a cow is at having a calf every year or every couple of years, so her calving interval is captured between two calving dates and that is a big decider in whether she's going to throw bull calves that will then go out into the herd and be very productive as well. In terms of calf loss, the calf alert device, as I say is about determining the date and location of calving, so if researchers can get a better idea of what's happening in the first 48 hours, whether it's something to do with predation, poor mothering, distance to water, calf ill thrift or a congenital defect. So really it's a research tool to try and determine what's happening in that first 48 hours, that perinatal period. Well certainly if you're looking at the calf loss situation the typical scenario is that from confirmed pregnancy to weaning in Northern Australia we'll lose somewhere around 10 to 15% of calves and it's thought about 5% of those are lost in the perinatal period, so it's a big determinant of profitability and if we can determine more closely what's happening within that period, perhaps put in some managerial changes, they'll have a big effect on the northern beef industry."

"Most people now realise one of the most productive traits in northern Australia is fertility and we're seeing the data that we're collecting with CQUni and their walk-over-weighing really helps us collate very intensive measurements that give us an indication of the quickest re-breeders and more fertile cattle in the herd and any technology that can help get those accurate measurements to then validate and collate with the genomic information will be incredibly important."

CQUni's precision horticulture team works in partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and is focused on improving the productivity and profitability of the state's major horticultural commodities by developing innovative future farming practices. "I work very closely with horticultural industries to try to find ways to improve their productivity and profitability. Internationally I'm looking at two projects that are trying to generate income opportunities for poor farmers in the Pacific and in the highlands of Papua New Guinea through some horticultural crop innovations. Within Australia, we work on a range of different problems from trying to control some pests and diseases in, for example, sweet potato crops to new technologies that might reduce input costs and improved productivity. Success in our research for industry would mean farmers being able to make more money from their activities, to improve the productivity of their cropping systems, and to do so in a sustainable way so that they and their children and their children's children will still be able to do the same production systems."

The non-invasive sensors research team is focused on the development of new hardware that can assess agricultural commodities and advance productivity without damaging the food products. "So we've had a range of postgraduates and postdocs involved from both the agronomic point of view, the electrical engineering point of view, the IT software side that melds together to make an operational unit to deliver a holistic product. Initially, we were prompted by growers to look at estimating the quality of fruit non-invasively, its internal quality being sugar content or dry matter content, and that took us down the path of measuring in-line so you're on a pack line, you're sorting on colour and weight. Now we are adding another facility that is estimating that the sugar content or dry matter content of that fruit. As you know as a consumer yourself you go into a retail store and you purchase fruit on the basis of what it looks like, take it home and you have an eating experience that's bad and the research says that you won't go back to buy that fruit for four to six weeks. So it's not an instant decision, but it's certainly important to repeat purchase. We were in the fields doing the dry matter measurements and we could see the grower practice of trying to estimate fruit yields, that is, how much crop was on the tree, so that they could be organised in terms of labour requirements, packhouse requirements and that was all being done manually with a hand counter. So that led us into a new line of work looking at machine vision in the field, so rather than just machine vision in the packhouse taking it into the field to estimate crop load across the field. The next step on from that of course, having seen the fruit, is to try to reach out to pick the fruit to automate the harvest."

The Institute for Future Farming Systems welcome opportunities to collaborate with researchers and research institutions who share their interests in agricultural research. CQUniversity has world-class laboratory and field facilities providing a welcoming and supportive environment for postgraduate students and visiting researchers. The horticulture team is already making a difference to industry delivering major products improving the chilli, tomato and sweet potato industries.

"Yeah, the focus of our research is focused on the important key crop disease in our region like currently, we have a project to work on root-knot nematode management in sweet potato. The problem I try to solve is to help the growers to reduce nematode populations and of course, reduce the damage to yield so they could maintain the productivity and income. As a scientist, we do encourage the growers to adopt more sustainable management strategies on the farm because it's good to maintain productivity, not in only a few years short term, but also in the long term.”

CQUniversity is proud to partner with government and industry stakeholders in the agriculture sector. To find out more about getting involved in our research, contact the University.

Community engagement

CQUniversity works closely with local communities and stakeholders to provide opportunities to develop skills and understanding of key things impacting our region. Below shows a sample of the community engagement conducted in relation to Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Life on Land.

  • Fitzroy Basin Association - Ridgelands Landholder Support - CQUni students were able to gain practical experience by assisting Ridgelands landholders with Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management. Students built dams to prevent soil loss.
  • Community Seagrass Flower Harvest -  Passionate citizen scientists have joined researchers from CQUniversity Australia’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC) to collect seagrass flowers in Gladstone Harbour, for the final harvest of the season.
  • Agri-Tech Education - is a collection of projects aimed to showcase the scientific and digital skills required in the agricultural industry to upskill the current agricultural workforce and attract the next generation to work in the food and fibre production sector
  • Women in Agri-Tech - The ‘Women in Agri-tech’ project will create and foster a strong network of female teachers who will become leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas.
  • TeacherFX (Teacher Farm Experience) - The Teacher Farm Experience Program aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of STEM, digital technology and agriculture educators to allow them to incorporate food and fibre production into their teaching programs.
  • RACE - Gippsland - Raising Aspirations in Careers and Education - Gippsland (RACE - Gippsland) will deliver a range of hands-on, interactive and engaging activities to primary and secondary students focused on building student capacity in STEM, digital technologies, agribusiness, manufacturing and food and fibre concepts.
  • Gladstone STEM Partnerships - The Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor High Possingham launched the new Queensland Government Partner-Up Queensland Regional Science & Innovation Network (The Network) which will be hosted at CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina campus, with support from Inspiring Australia STEM hub network, the Gladstone Connects team, Gladstone Regional Council, Australia Pacific LNG, Rio Tinto, StartUp Gladstone, Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre and the University’s Coastal Marine Ecosystem Research Centre (CMERC).
  • Parasites in the Wild - Citizen Scientist Program - Passionate citizen scientists have joined researchers from CQUniversity to collect and identify ticks using field and laboratory equipment and easy-to-understand identification keys. Citizen Scientists will be able to get hands-on in the design and construction of laboratory and field equipment, including tick traps.


CQUniversity partners with a number of external stakeholders to achieve common goals in relation to the Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land. These partnerships facilitate collaboration to maintain shared land ecosystems.

Education programs

CQUniversity has a number of paid and free programs for students and community members to access to increase their knowledge on aspects relating to the Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Life on Land. Listed below is a sample of programs available.

Higher Education Degrees

CQUniversity offers a tailored undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Agriculture, this degree will equip you with the agriculture knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills required to play important professional roles in improving the productivity and sustainability of modern agriculture.

CQUniversity also offers both Bachelor of Environmental Science and Bachelor of Science undergraduate degrees whose teachings align closely with the values of SDG 15 - Life on Land.

Integrated within these degrees are multiple avenues for students to learn and practice theory and skills in land ecosystems.  This content includes term-long units of study such as Integrated Land and Water Management and Sustainable Landscapes and can cover focused elements within broader units of study.  The Bachelor of Environmental Science degree includes a major in "Integrated land and water management", reflecting a strong focus on the interrelationship between land use and aquatic systems, and how best to manage them.

Each of the above-mentioned courses provides opportunities for students to complete Work Integrated Learning relevant to the field of study.

CQUniversity also offers certificate course relating to SDG 15: Life on Land, for example, Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management.

Be Different - Professional Development Platform

Free Agricultural educational programs are available via CQUniversity's professional development platform - Be Different.

Listed below are some of the examples of free workshops available for students, teachers and community members to access to learn more about environmental ecosystems and technology and initiatives available to manage this sustainably.

RACE - Gippsland 

This online resource includes three learning modules:

  • Traceability of Gippsland Produce Module
  • Diving into Dairy Data Module
  • Potato Fries and Food Waste Module

GPS Cows

This online resource provides has been co-designed by the NSW Department of Education and CQUniversity Australia for the NSW Stage 5 Agriculture Syllabus. It incorporates content from the Agriculture and Food Technologies and the Digital Technologies contexts. The course investigates the use of GPS data to improve the management of animal welfare.

There are seven (7) modules in this resource:

  1. Design your own research trial
  2. Collect your own livestock tracking data and create your own paddock boundary files
  3. Cleaning GPS data
  4. Importing data layers in ArcGIS
  5. Paddock utilisation
  6. Elevation
  7. Soil

Women in Agri-Tech

The CQUniversity ‘Women in Agri-tech’ project will create and foster a strong network of female teachers who will become leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas. They will be guided by female researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs to develop engaging learning resources which will, in turn, inspire girls in the classroom to realise the opportunities available to them. Partnering with their teachers, these female students will have the chance to participate in a unique agri-tech accelerator competition to further develop their entrepreneurship skills.

Twelve free learning modules suitable for Year 7-12 students featuring agri-tech tools and systems are now available for download at the Women in Agri-tech website. The modules can be used in a range of classroom settings across Australia, from science to mathematics and, of course, agriculture. They were written by the participants of the Women in Agri-Tech Project fosters a strong network of female teachers into becoming leaders in digital literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship in regional, rural and remote areas.

Project Pioneer

CQUniversity partnered with Resource Consulting Services as a research partner to deliver Project Pioneer. Central Queensland University’s (CQUni) Coastal Marine Research Ecosystems Centre contribute to research in the area of measuring sediment run-off from paired properties, to compare the difference between regenerative grazing and traditional grazing methods on sediment and water quality. The Project aligns with CQUni’s ethos of working with community and industry groups to develop practical solutions to real-world problems. This project has produced tangible evidence obtained by the research and its potential to encourage more landholders to adopt regenerative grazing practices. More than 150 producers are living proof it is possible to improve the ecological health of a property, while also increasing production efficiency and boosting profitability. This support was provided free for producers who were successful in attaining a grant from the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Future Learn

CQUniversity is a partner of Future Learn. This program provides short courses from around the world for free or low cost. CQUniversity provides 18 courses via this platform, including A Beginner's Guide to Environmental Science: Wicked Problems and Possible Solutions. Students will be learning about the nature of environmental science, resources, the basis of the world’s ecosystem, and the concept of the triple bottom line for sustainability.

More agricultural programs for students and community members

CQUniversity has dedicated research staff and academics that work towards educating communities on the importance of agriculture in our regions. One example is Dr Amy Crosby, who currently works with educators, researchers and industry professionals to develop innovative programs to increase the skills and knowledge of teachers and students in agricultural concepts, tools and systems.

View the Recent Research Projects on Dr Crosby's staff profile to learn more about the many different projects facilitated through CQUniversity for students and community members.

Plastic waste

Drain Buddies

The Drain Buddies project, led by Dr Angela Capper at CQUniversity’s Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC), will modify and install microplastic traps across Rockhampton and Livingstone shires, with monitoring to determine where the littering is occurring.

Clean Up Australia Day

More than 150 CQUniversity staff and students stepped up to collect up to one tonne of rubbish at simultaneous Clean Up Australia Day events across all mainland states. The 13 CQUniversity locations to participate in the event included Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay Ooralea and City, Melbourne, Noosa, Perth, Rockhampton, Sydney, and Townsville.

Ditch the Disposables

CQUniversity launched the sustainability campaign Ditch the Disposables during 2019. The campaign aims to educate staff and students throughout CQUni's national footprint about the harmful effects of single-use plastic and encourages them to ultimately ‘ditch the disposables’ because small changes will have a big impact. The University has embarked on a long-term sustainability journey focusing on key areas with the greatest impact demonstrating its commitment to the environment.


The Ditch the Disposables campaign is CQUniversity’s first attempt to run a national sustainability program. Rolled out across 18 CQUniversity locations throughout Australia, it has been designed to be a conversation starter and an easy to adopt call to action with a particular focus on engagement in regional areas. The short to mid-term program provides a systemic change approach to promoting sustainability under a single tagline and is intended to showcase CQUniversity’s commitment to embedding sustainable practices in our everyday operations, interactions, and relationships.

Alastair Dawson: Aiming for a sustainable future for our own campuses and communities is
increasingly being built into the DNA of CQUniversity Australia. Over the years our university has sought ways to enshrine sustainability principles into our everyday practice. In 2019, our university adopted the United Nations’ Strategic Development Goals into the framework of our strategic plan, further cementing our commitment to upholding sustainability as a core tenant of our business.

The Ditch the Disposables campaign also aligns strongly with the industry-leading research into the effect of microplastics and marine environments at our Coastal Marine Ecosystem Centre. Huge amounts of single-use plastics end up in our oceans and with many of our campuses situated along the coast of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral ecosystem, eliminating single-use plastics is vital to minimizing our impact on the reef. Being a geographically dispersed university, cooperation, and leadership from all areas of the university was integral to the success of these initiatives.

Kelly Smith: Rockhampton Regional Waste and Recycling looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Central Queensland University to empower our community, to ditch the plastic and divert ninety per cent of our waste from landfill, so that we can live in a community without waste. Zero waste by 2050.

As Australia’s largest regional university, we see an opportunity to make a real and long-term impact on our community. We invite you to join us.

Policies and procedures

CQUniversity is guided by policies and procedures in relation to the Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land. Our policies ensure that staff, researchers, students, contractors and all others involved with the university take responsibility on topics such as biosecurity, waste and sustainability.

As outlined in the Procurement and Policy and Procedure, CQUniversity is committed to protecting the environment and doing business with ethical and sustainably responsible suppliers during all stages of the procurement process. Buyers must plan, identify and integrate the practice of sustainability into the procurement of goods and/or services. Preference should be given to environmentally preferable goods and services that have a lower impact on the environment over the life cycle of the good or service when compared with competing goods or services serving the same purpose.

Refer to 4.6 Sustainable, social and Indigenous-focused procurement for more information.

This Sustainability Policy outlines the requirements of the executive, managers, employees and students in meeting the environmental sustainability objectives of the University. The Policy sets a clear turning point about the image it is portraying and various benchmarks the University is set for its teachers, students, employees, service providers and stakeholders about the sustainability of its activities.

Sustainability at the University is holistic through interconnecting elements to signify that one’s actions are connected to the larger picture and we are guided by our Sustainability Framework. Our sustainable development is focused on balancing social, economic and environmental needs and will be implemented through:

  • engaging and empowering our employees, students and the community on sustainability issues
  • establishing University-wide targets to reduce energy, water, solid waste and pollutants
  • fulfilling our commitment to sustainable building designs and facilities
  • developing sustainable campuses, and
  • incorporating sustainability topics for teaching and research as interrelated components in all fields offered at our university.

The Code of Conduct for Research establishes the framework for managing CQUniversity’s responsibilities to conduct research ethically, responsibly, with integrity, and in compliance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code of Conduct for Research outlines the importance of respect for the environment and the community.

The Contract Management Policy and Procedure policy outlines the necessary requirements all contractors need to abide by, including that local biodiversity is included in planning and development.

Clause 4.10 outlines the commitment to the Environmental Protection Act 1994 where both the contractor and the contract manager have certain responsibilities in relation to work health and safety and, depending on the type of project, environmental protection.

The Contractor Occupational Health and Safety Management Procedure has been developed to provide a safe system of work incorporating a risk management approach to ensure that potential risks to health, safety and the environment are identified, assessed and controlled, allowing contractors to work safely while on CQUniversity worksites.

Outlined in clause 3.5 - 3.12 is the environmental protection information which includes information on pollution, sustainable land management and procedures to prevent any potential incidents towards the environment.

The purpose of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is to provide a forum for addressing biosafety issues across the University. It also has a duty to protect students and staff of the University, as well as the Australian people and environment, by establishing procedures to minimise risk due to the release of any harmful organism into the environment.

The (IBC) has the specific responsibility to consider and advise on the following types of activity within research and teaching programs:

  • The use of potentially infectious agents in laboratories (under Australian Standard AS/NZS 2243.3 and related professional and regulatory policies).
  • Work with genetically modified organisms (under the Gene Technology Act 2000) and other guidelines provided by the Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR).
  • Activities relating to the safe handling and disposal of imported biological materials (Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources).

The Research Higher Degree Integrity Policy and Procedure defines integrity as it applies to research higher degrees (RHDs). It sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of research candidates to act in a manner that upholds the highest standards of integrity. It also sets out CQUniversity’s responses to and processes for addressing alleged breaches of research integrity by RHD candidates, including those of research misconduct.

This policy and procedure outline actions required when there are potential breaches to the environment.

The Engaging and Communicating with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander or First Nations People Protocol outlines the engagement practises to be followed with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or First Nations People and the acknowledgment and engagement required to work on cultural land.

The Research Involving Humans and or Animals for Ethical Clearance Policy and Procedure outlines the requirements of staff and students when working with animals for research purposes. All projects involving animal subjects shall be conducted in conformity with the NHMRC’s Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. This code of conduct also includes information on alien species management.

CQUniversity's Handling and Storage of Hazardous Chemicals and Dangerous Goods Procedure outlines the hazardous material handling requirements for all people bringing hazardous materials onto CQUniversity campuses.