Rangelands Policy Dialogue: After drought and debt, what next?

Rangelands Policy Dialogue: After drought and debt, what next?


An interactive workshop scheduled for 1, 2 May at 111 George St Brisbane will bring together people with knowledge of rural and regional Queensland to craft a strategy that can lead the pastoral industry to a future that is sustainably profitable and environmentally sustainable. The scope will cover drought policy, stewardship incentives, climate change and many other themes.

The event is being hosted by The Royal Society of Queensland, the state’s senior scientific society, co-organised with AgForce, representing broadacre rural industry and NRM Regions Queensland, representing the 12 regional NRM bodies.

The reasoning behind the meeting is that the current dis-coordinated mix of rural policies and market forces does not methodically lead pastoralists to a sustainable future, restoring the natural capital of Queensland’s landscapes and the well-being of its human communities.

Policy settings need amendment to incentivise landholders to preserve ecosystem functions, more funding needs to be invested in managing our pastoral landscapes, population drift must be reversed, and new thinking is required to manage drought and floods in an era of climate change.

Invitations are being sent to policy-aware individuals and organisations involved in rural affairs. Representation is sought from as wide a range of sectoral groups, scholarly disciplines, departmental portfolios and community organisations as practicable. Public servants and political staffers will be welcome. Chatham House rules will operate (no attribution without consent).

Unlike standard conferences, at least half of the time will be given over to discussion. The end output sought will be a “Brisbane Declaration” that, after ratification by stakeholder organisations, will be presented as a manifesto to political leaders at a subsequent event.

The reasons for holding this event and the outcomes sought are outlined in the attached Rationale.

A registration fee of $100 is sought, to cover the costs of the venue. Those who believe that they may have something to contribute may contact events@royalsocietyqld.org.au. The Society thanks AgForce for its administrative assistance.

Register via AgForce site Conversations on Landscape Policy .

Venue, dates and times

Wednesday 1 May 10.00am – 5.00pm, Auditorium, Ground Floor 111 George St.

Thursday 2 May 9.00am – 5.00pm, Auditorium, Ground Floor, 111 George St.

Friday 3 May 9.00am – 12.00 noon, Seminar Room 3, Ground Floor, 111 George St (writing team only).

Reading Materials

The Dialogue was triggered by the launch on 28 May 2019 by the Society of a Discussion Paper From Red to Green to Black . The paper argued that the income that pastoralists receive from sale of commodities is disconnected from the costs of running their enterprises. Further that landholders produce ecosystem services (fresh air, fresh water, biodiversity) for which traditional markets do not reimburse them. Since the paper’s release, drought has tightened its grip and climate change has embedded itself into landholders’ sights.

For additional background reading, refer to our Further Reading page.

Speaker’s Presentations

To be lodged here as they arrive.

The presentation that Dr Geoff Edwards delivered in May 2018 has been edited to explain that stewardship incentives are only one tool. A much broader re-calibration of policy is now required. Stewardship Presentation.ppt  –  Stewardship Presentation.pdf


Download Program Outline. A full program with speakers identified will be available here by late March.