Resilience of rangelands to be spotlit at Longeach conference

Longreach to host national rangelands conference

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Desert Channels Queensland CEO Leanne Kohler is looking forward to sharing the successes the region has had in natural resource management.

Desert Channels Queensland CEO Leanne Kohler is looking forward to sharing the successes the region has had in natural resource management.

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Longreach has been announced as the venue for a national conference in October that will highlight the resilience of rangelands regions in rural Australia.

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Longreach has been announced as the venue for a national conference in October that will highlight the resilience of rangelands regions in rural Australia.

The 'NRM in the Rangelands Conference - shaping our future 2021' will be co-hosted by the Australian Rangeland Society and Desert Channels Queensland, and is expected to bring hundreds of visitors to Queensland's central west.

Longreach local Dr David Phelps, who manages Rural Economic Development for Queensland's Department of Agriculture, is the president of the society and said hosting the 20thbiennial national conference would be great for the region.

About 80 per cent of Australia's interior is covered by rangelands featuring landscapes like savannahs, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands.

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"This is a fantastic opportunity for western Queensland to promote our region, our people, our landscapes, our sustainable land management, our conservation efforts and our world-class produce and hospitality to the rest of Australia," Dr Phelps said. "It's our backyard so we have the perfect backdrop to shape the future of regions just like ours."

Rural Australia has been heavily impacted by drought over the past seven years, making the conference focus on improving the resilience of the environment, the communities, and the industry particularly relevant.

Australian Rangelands Society president Dr David Phelps has had plenty of opportunities to experience the resilience of the rangelands, as a Department of Agriculture scientist, a Rotary Club member, and as the head of the Western Queensland Drought Appeal.

Australian Rangelands Society president Dr David Phelps has had plenty of opportunities to experience the resilience of the rangelands, as a Department of Agriculture scientist, a Rotary Club member, and as the head of the Western Queensland Drought Appeal.

Leanne Kohler, DCQ's CEO said the October 5-8 conference would be both practical and inspiring.

"Our region has delivered some great successes in natural resource management and we want to share our learnings with others," she said.

Featuring a wide range of key-note speakers, panel discussions, and practical application activities, conference attendees will be informed, inspired, and challenged to re-think the way they view natural resource management.

World-class speakers have been secured, including political, economic, and agricultural expert Ross Garnaut, managing director of OBE Organic Dalene Wray, and Mithaka man Josh Gorringe, who works to empower the Australian Indigenous community to deliver large land projects.

With more speakers still to be confirmed, Professor Phelps said the three-day event will also provide a significant economic boost to the region.

"Around 300 delegates from all over the country including farmers, Landcare groups, natural resource groups, academics and policymakers will travel through towns like Roma, Birdsville and Cloncurry on their way to Longreach," he said.

The Australian Rangeland Society and Desert Channels Queensland have put the call out to experts, both academic and practical, who are passionate about the future of the rangelands to share their experiences and knowledge through paper submissions that may be delivered at the conference.

Registrations for the conference are already open.

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