Background reading on stewardship

Background reading

This section is reserved for authoritative reports and other resources relevant to the management of Queensland’s pastoral zone – the unimproved inland pastures, also called “rangelands”.

National Stewardship of Country webinars, Feb.-March 2021

In February/March 2021, the Royal Societies of Australia convened three webinars exploring stewardship. Transcripts are available on the RSA website. Six of the eleven presentations have since been edited, peer-reviewed and published in the format of a Special Issue Volume 133(1) of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, accessible via publisher CSIRO, the Royal Society of Victoria or here below.

Stewardship of Country, a symposium in three parts, was a series of online events held across Australia in March 2021. The series posed the question: who are we becoming, as Australians faced with an increasingly unpredictable and challenging future? The symposium generated a discussion on landscape and environmental management that bridged Indigenous, agricultural, scientific, economic and social perspectives with support for practical action and public good.

Preliminary material
PDF (200 KB)

Australian rangeland futures: time now for systemic responses to interconnected challenges
Barney Foran Abstract | PDF (4.5 MB)

Australian landscapes from Eocene to Anthropocene
Peter Bridgewater Abstract | PDF (701 KB)

Incorporating Indigenous knowledge in mine closure: Ranger Uranium Mine
Christopher Brady, Peter Christophersen and Justin O’Brien Abstract | PDF (8.3 MB)

Connections for resilience: sharing land management knowledge between farmers and politicians
Carolyn Hall Abstract | PDF (4.1 MB)

Managing the unmanageable: reinstating the dingo for pastoral sustainability in Australian rangelands
David Pollock Abstract | PDF (5 MB)

The business of biodiversity: the role of Odonata
Nigel Sharp Abstract | PDF (5 MB)

New stewardship of Country
Nelson Quinn Abstract | PDF (199 KB)

‘A talented young German’: exploration of the early career of Jacob Braché
Gabrielle L. McMullen Abstract | PDF (3 MB)

Rangelands Policy Dialogue – 1,2 July 2019

For panellists’ presentations delivered at the Rangelands Policy Dialogue on 1, 2 July 2019, and Rangelands Briefs prepared as aids to discussion, see the page dedicated to that Dialogue.

Regional Natural Resource Management

Living Landscapes – a manifesto for rejuvenating NRM.

NRM Spatial Hub Final Report – A mapping tool to allow landholders access to the most up-to-date government datasets and satellite imagery, a wonderful initiative towards which numerous knowledgeable people have worked for many years, destined to never reach its potential because of the lack of a derisory quantum of public funding.


Sustainability in Queensland Agriculture: The Role of Land Care in Securing the Future.

This report, proceedings of a symposium in 1989 and a landmark of its time, is reproduced with the permission of the Agricultural Institute of Australia (17 July 2018). (8 MB).

Information Hub and other bibliographies

Mulga lands Information Hub : South West NRM has compiled a comprehensive repository of reports, journal articles, books and other materials about the mulga lands specifically, but much of the material is referable to the pastoral zone generally.

Carbon management

South West NRM, the (former) regional natural resource management body for the Mulga Lands based in Charleville, has published two substantial works on how carbon markets might be directed towards natural resource management. These papers are republished with the generous permission of South West NRM Ltd.:

Gavin, J., Moore, T. (2012) Project Report. South West Natural Resources Management Ltd. in the Carbon Economy: Carbon Sustainable Futures Program‐ A way forward for South West NRM’s involvement in the Clean Energy Future package.

Jackson, Mark. (2008). Carbon Markets and the Mulga Lands of South West Queensland. The Carbon Store Pty. Ltd. and South West NRM Ltd.

CSIRO was commissioned by the Queensland Government to produce a comprehensive study in 2009: An Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Carbon Sequestration Opportunities from Rural Land Use, edited by Sandra Eady, Mike Grundy, Michael Battaglia and Brian Keating.

The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ submission to the Climate Change Policies Review in May 2017 articulates five principles and a page of relevant references.

Pasture and paddock management

A theory of carbon stocks and flows: A separate page on this website explains the carbon grazing model of pasture management.

The Long Paddock is a Queensland Government initiative that has provided climate and pasture information to the grazing community since 1995. The site provides access to rainfall and pasture outlooks and decision support tools to support land management decision making and planning for land holders, education, consultants and extension officers.

Notably, The Long Paddock has charts of rainfall variability including charts tabled at the Dialogue.

Beef Central provides daily updates on events, issues and news surrounding beef production, marketing and processing.

Property rights

Two papers written in 2002 when a vigorous debate was underway over whether graziers should be compensated for regulations preventing clearing of native vegetation:

Institutional Reform in Rural Australia: Defining and Allocating Property Rights – Synapse Consulting

Property Rights and Natural Resource Management – Ian Reeve.

The Government determined not to pay ‘compensation’ but to allocate funds for structural adjustment of properties rendered unviable. A published departmental Guideline explains the basis of this position, including the meaning of “duty of care” and “stewardship”.

Farm viability, debt and rural reconstruction

See article on 18 February 2019 by economist and farmer Ben Rees A NQ Flood Recovery Option .

The Muntadgin Farming Alliance has given permission to re-publish a 2013 press release presenting 12 resolutions focused on rural profitability.

Rural policy generally

An article by Professor Allan Dale, James Cook University From Conflict to Collaboration is reproduced by permission of the publisher CSIRO.

Wedge politics waged by “conservative” commentators do a disservice to farmers and graziers: an opinion piece in Queensland Country Life on 18 April 2019 by the Society’s President.

The Communiqué from SEGRA 2019 has a set of principles for regional development and vigour.

Global reports

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, an initiative of the United Nations,  has released a report on global land degradation. The definition is somewhat broader than deterioration of soil and vegetation in pastoral rangelands, the focus of this page, but conveys and relevant and timely warnings.  The report observes that the “benefits of land restoration often exceed their costs, by far, sometimes by a factor of 10”.

Roger Blench of the Overseas Development Institute (UK) has written a monograph: You can’t go home again: Pastoralism in the new millennium., offering a global overview of pastoral activity on low-productivity rangelands.