Stewardship of Queensland’s pastoral zone

Stewardship of Queensland’s pastoral zone

  • What is the duty of care expected of  pastoralists in Queensland’s rangelands and who defines it?
  • To reduce the flow of sediment to the Great Barrier Reef, is tougher regulation – the stick approach – required, or would an incentive payment – the carrot approach – be more effective?
  • If the carrot approach, what justification is there for taxpayers to fund remedial works on private land?
  • Could trade in carbon credits pay for a general incentive payment?
  • Who should deliver the Queensland Government’s announced Land Restoration Fund?
  • Why is the Landcare movement languishing?
  • What can be done about regional youth unemployment now reportedly greater than 60%?

Photo courtesy Alan Lauder.

Proposal for incentive payments

These issues and more are explored in a Discussion Paper presented at a forum on 28 May 2018 in Brisbane, drafted by Dr Geoff Edwards with contributions from four other members. The Discussion Paper From Red to Green to Black was released on 20 June 2018 (3MB). The paper outlines a “stewardship incentives scheme” and a policy framework for the Land Restoration Fund announced during the 2017 State election campaign. The paper has not been formally endorsed by the Royal Society of Queensland: its status is as a submission TO the Society.

Note to those who read the draft version: The only significant change made in the published version is in the section on carbon trading, on new pages 46,47. The revised paper takes a more sceptical approach to the prospect of using carbon credits to fund land restoration.

The event was co-hosted by NRM Regions, the peak body for the regional natural resource management groups in Queensland. See Flyer for more details. Short presentations from panellists were followed by a brainstorm amongst knowledgeable and interested participants from the public service, agriculture, NRM, conservation and community sectors.

All those who wish to participate in subsequent dialogue are invited to join the Society – see Membership page.

Panellists

Dr Greg Leach – Agforce – Informal Response .

Dr April Reside – Centre for Biodiversity & Conservation, University of Queensland – Making Queensland Great Again . (4 MB).

Ms Megan Surawski – Department of Environment and Science – Land Restoration Fund .

Mr Stephen Robertson – NRM Regions Queensland – Sustainability in a Changing Climate . (4.5 MB, without video).

 

 

Critiques and responses to the proposal

There are many knowledgeable people in the pastoral industry, in government and in the scientific community with views about the sustainability of pastoral production in Queensland’s rangelands. Comments on the issues raised in the paper are welcome – please send to the President. Responses can be viewed on a separate Stewardship Responses page.

Land Restoration Fund

In 2017 the Queensland Government confirmed an election commitment to establish a Land Restoration Fund. The Fund aims to use carbon credits and green bonds as economic drivers for achieving “co-benefits” on rural land. The proposal has much in common with the stewardship incentives scheme outlined in the Discussion Paper mentioned above.