The Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resources Management Plan (NRM) for 2016-2026 was unveiled at Townsville’s Town Common Regional Park on Friday by NQ Dry Tropics chairman Mark Stoneman AM and fellow collaborators.
The plan identifies strategies that will improve the long-term productivity of the region’s beef producers, sugarcane farmers and horticulturalists, while protecting the world-famous wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef.
Mr Stoneman – who runs cattle on his property south of Townsville – said the plan is the only one of its kind in the region and forms the blueprint for how the community can work together to protect and sustainably manage our natural resources for the next 10 years.
“People sometimes forget that natural resource management isn’t just aimed at farmers on large agricultural operations it also includes something as relatively small in scale as your home garden,” Mr Stoneman said.
“If we don’t protect and maintain our resource base, we risk losing the foundations on which our regional societies, communities and economies are built,” he said.
“We wanted community members to oversee the shaping of the plan, so that it follows their priorities and takes into account the various challenges they face.”
He said the Burdekin Dry Tropics region is experiencing changes in climate, industry, technology, community and land use, all of which provide challenges for our natural resource base.
NQ Dry Tropics deputy chairman and Home Hill canegrower Kevin Mann said the State Governments recent calls for a tree clearing ban is just one example of the challenges the regions landowners face at present.
“We can sustainably manage a certain amount of clearing. As it stands we have clear scientific evidence that there are more trees in Queensland then ever before,” Mr Mann said.
“Some areas are getting so heavily concentrated that they need to be cleared to allow the grasses underneath them to grow as its leading to sediment loss,” he said.
Mr Stoneman said the community-led plan outlines high-level strategies to manage challenges such as this, while protecting the region’s rich biodiversity and improving long-term on-farm productivity.
“While devising the plan we have had excellent community participation which has led to incredibly good input over the course of putting the document together.
“It aims to help us understand how governments, land managers and the wider community can work together to make the most of our shared natural resources.”
“Effectively addressing these challenges requires a holistic approach, which is why we have chosen to identify problems and solutions across five closely interconnected themes: People/connections; climate change; land; water and biodiversity.”
He said the plan updates the original Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Plan (2005-2010) to incorporate new information, best practices and technologies.
“It differs from the original plan in that it is a strategic level document which is supported by action plans that have been developed since 2005.
“It belongs to the Burdekin Dry Tropics community, and is complemented by a wealth of additional information on this website.”
A NRM Community Governance Group guided the planning process, and every effort to represent the views of those who value and actively care for the region’s natural resources.
The plan captures hundreds of community suggestions and requests. Contributions came from individuals and representatives from a range of groups, organisations, industries, social sectors and geographic areas. Suggestions were also provided by technical experts, NRM industry leaders, and researchers from within the region and across Australia.
This plan is an active document, which will be updated as new information about the condition and management of natural resources becomes available.
You can download a pdf of the full NRM Plan from at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/ to provide feedback on the Burdekin Dry Tropics NRM Plan email email@example.com or phone (07) 4724 3544.