Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4619.0 - Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments, Preliminary, 2008-09  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/12/2009  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Burnett Mary NRM region

The Burnett Mary is the most southerly NRM region in the Great Barrier Reef survey. It spans 5 catchments and covers 5.3 million hectares, of which 3.3 million is land used mainly for agricultural production. Bundaberg and Gympie are the major towns in the region. Agricultural activity in the region is diverse, although beef cattle grazing is by far the most common agricultural activity.

LAND USED MAINLY FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, By Burnett Mary NRM region - 2008-09
AGRICULTURAL LAND USE AND SELECTED PRACTICES
Total Catchment area
Holdings in the catchment
Land used mainly for agricultural production
Land area over which herbicides were used
(a)
Fertiliser applied
Maintained at least 40% ground cover in riparian areas
Ha.
Number
Ha.
Ha.
Tonnes
Percent

Baffle Creek
410,206
316
167,289
1,841
1,488
19.6
Kolan River
291,671
382
183,503
12,381
18,897
30.7
Burnett River
3,339,876
3,586
2,493,310
70,473
129,374
25.0
Burrum River
335,419
470
92,916
21,814
77,095
21.5
Mary River (Qld)
942,646
1,577
356,394
17,510
29,717
25.0
Total Burnett Mary NRM
5,319,817
6,332
3,293,413
124,019
256,572
24.8

Source: Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments, Preliminary, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4619.0).
(a) Does not include any area that had herbicide applied using spot spraying.


The Burnett Mary NRM region is made up of the Baffle creek, Kolan river, Burnett river and Mary river catchments and covers an area of approximately 5.3 Million hectares.

Baffle Creek catchment

Baffle Creek catchment is located north west of Gladstone. Agricultural activity in the Baffle Creek catchment is dominated by beef cattle grazing. The catchment contains 316 holdings with 41% of land in the catchment used mainly for agricultural production.

Only 45% of holdings in this catchment reported applying herbicide. This was the lowest proportion of the 28 catchments in the Great Barrier Reef.

Holdings in Baffle Creek reported relatively low adoption rates of surface water run-off management practices. The most common practice, ensuring at least 40% ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season, was undertaken by 36% of holdings.

Those holdings keeping beef cattle reported relatively low adoption rates of riparian management practices.

Kolan River catchment

Kolan River catchment is located just to the north of Bundaberg and is the smallest catchment in the Burnett Mary NRM region. Beef cattle grazing is the most common agricultural activity with significant sugar cane growing and horticultural activity also present. Land in the catchment used mainly for agricultural production accounts for 63% of the catchment area.

Less than a third (31%) of holdings grazing cattle in this catchment estimated they had more than 40% ground cover at the end of the 2008 dry season. Only 30% of holdings actively controlled stock access to riparian areas and 10% had riparian areas fully fenced off and alternate water points established for their cattle.

Burnett River catchment

The Burnett River catchment is the largest catchment in the Burnett Mary NRM region. It covers an area of 3.3 million hectares with 2.5 million hectares of land used mainly for agricultural production. Bundaberg is the biggest town in the catchment and lies on the Burnett river just west of the river mouth. Beef cattle grazing is the most common agricultural activity in the catchment with broadacre cropping also significant. Sugar cane and horticulture activity are also present.

The most common practices adopted by land managers in this catchment to manage surface water run-off were using contour banks, diversion banks or constructed waterways (46%) and ensuring at least 40% ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season (39%).

Beef cattle grazing occurred on 2.4m hectares with 541,000 hectares of this on improved pastures.

Broadacre cropping was undertaken by 23% of the holdings in the catchment. For these holdings, stubble incorporated into the soil was undertaken on 27,218 hectares and stubble was grazed on 11,734 hectares. Full cultivation was the most common land preparation method used (on 24,662 hectares) while minimal zonal till was used on 20,220 hectares.

Burrum River catchment

The Burrum River catchment runs from Bundaberg in the north to Hervey Bay in the south. The catchment features a large amount of National Park and State Forest with land used for agricultural production accounting for only 28% of the catchment area. Beef cattle grazing, sugar cane and horticulture are the most common agricultural activities in the region.

Holdings in the Burrum River catchment applied the highest rate of fertiliser (0.8 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land) of all catchments in the Burnett Mary NRM. Just under half (49%) of the 77,095 tonnes of fertiliser applied was mill mud/ash (37,555 tonnes).

Mary River (Qld) catchment

The Mary River (Qld) catchment is located south of Hervey Bay. The Mary river is different to most major rivers entering the Great Barrier Reef in that it flows mainly in a northerly direction, rather than easterly, flowing through Gympie and Maryborough before entering the ocean west of Fraser Island. Beef cattle grazing was the most common agricultural activity with small amounts of sugar cane growing, broadacre cropping and horticulture also present. Land used mainly for agricultural production covers 38% of the catchment.

Holdings in this catchment reported relatively low adoption rates of surface water run-off management practices. However, holdings also reported relatively low rates of fertiliser use (0.08 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land).

For those holdings reporting beef cattle, 25% actively controlled stock access to riparian areas.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.