Pastoralists to benefit from new detailed land use maps

Pastoralists will benefit from a new mapping project detailing the use of each plot of land in the Northern Territory.

“Pastoralists, fodder producers, farmers, industry groups, developers and many others will find uses for these new maps,” said Bob Williams, Director of Plant Industries Development with the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR).

The maps will show how much land—and which areas—are devoted to animal industries, horticulture, urban areas, Indigenous uses, forestry, animal industries, and more.

The mapping project will also assist biosecurity risk management and emergency disease preparedness. If a biosecurity incursion threatens a specific fodder crop, for example, all the areas where that crop is grown can be identified so DPIR can respond quickly.

Detailed mapping will inform decisions about regional development, private and government investment and sustainable and efficient use of soil and water. By better understanding existing production land uses, we can better understand further intensive agricultural development and sustainable use of resources to support potential new agriculture.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is leading the project in collaboration with DPIR and NT Farmers. The nationwide project is funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in collaboration with the states and territories.

Project collaborator NT Farmers can add details including which crops are irrigated or which fodder crops are being produced on any particular plot.

This represents the first major update to the Territory’s land use maps in 10 years, and will contribute to a national land use picture of the NT’s 1.4 million square kilometres.

The project will align with the Commonwealth Government’s Stronger Biosecurity and Quarantine Initiative and the objectives of the National Landcare Programme according to project leader DENR, which brings extensive experience in mapping land resources to the project.

The maps will be freely available through the NRMaps web portal.

The project is due to be completed in June 2017.

Last updated: 20 December 2016