For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or John Purcell in Canberra (02) 6252 5651.
This publication presents results from a Land Management Survey conducted in the Eurobodalla Shire (south-east coast of New South Wales) in late 2004.
This survey was the first to make use of a new spatial, land-based area framework for natural resource management surveys. The land parcel survey methodology differs from traditional ABS survey methodologies in that it is the spatial land parcel that forms the statistical unit, about which statistics are tabulated, compiled or published rather than the business unit. The land parcel methodology is based on a list of land parcels for a given region and contains land owner information as well as the size and location of each land parcel. The list facilitates the release of spatial data, enabling the dissemination and mapping of small area statistics at a finer level than previously available.
The survey collected data on aspects of land management including land use, land and soil condition, water availability and quality, the extent of native vegetation, weeds and pests, and barriers to improved management practices.
The Eurobodalla Shire contains parts of the Clyde River-Jervis Bay Basin, the Moruya River Basin, the Tuross River Basin and the Bega River Basin. Of the 341,280 hectares that make up the Eurobodalla Shire, 71,389 hectares and 2327 holdings were in scope of the survey. The results of the survey relate to this area and number of holdings.
Land use and cover
- Agricultural production was highest in the Moruya River Basin (69% of land cover) and lowest in the Clyde River-Jervis Bay Basin (45%).
- Beef-cattle farming was the most common agricultural activity involving 262 landholders and covering 30,383 hectares.
- The Clyde River-Jervis Bay Basin had the highest proportion of residential and lifestyle block usage (38%); the Bega River Basin had the lowest proportion (12%).
- Timber production involved 261 landholders and covered 4605 hectares.
- Grasslands and forests covered 18% of the survey area.
Land and soil
- Soil acidity affected 4,038 hectares (6% of the survey area).
- Erosion affected 828 hectares (1% of the survey area).
- Salinity affected 89 hectares (0.1% of the survey area).
- Tree planting was the prevailing method for addressing soil issues in all river basins.
- Forty-seven per cent of landholders in the Eurobodalla Shire had a water-related issue. Water availability was of most concern (particularly in the Bega River Basin) and affected 934 (40%) landholders in the Eurobodalla Shire. Water clarity was of least concern.
- Tank water was the most common source of water for in scope holdings, ranging from 68% of holdings in the Clyde River-Jervis Bay Basin to 75% of holdings in the Tuross River Basin. Dams, rivers and creeks were the next most common source of water for all basins.
- Water issues were addressed through the use of recycled water, stock removal from waterways, changes to irrigation practices, water testing and earthworks, drainage or water pumping activities.
Weeds and pests
- Seventy-three per cent of Eurobodalla Shire landholders reported at least one weed or pest related problem. Weeds were the most prevalent issue, particularly in the Tuross River Basin.
- Scattered weeds covered 13,673 hectares (19%) of the in scope area of the Eurobodalla Shire; dense or dominant weeds covered 2,428 hectares (3%) of the in scope area of the Eurobodalla Shire.
- A range of activities were undertaken to address weed and pest issues. Slashing, cutting, pulling or mowing were the most common activities undertaken by 85% of landholders.
- Forty-six per cent of the Eurobodalla Shire (32,733 hectares) was covered with native vegetation. Native vegetation cover varied considerably by river basin.
- There were a number of reasons landholders had native vegetation on their holding. The main reasons being aesthetic and the provision of wildlife habitat.
- Native vegetation quality was the most common native vegetation issue (57% of landholders in the Eurobodalla Shire). A number of activities were undertaken to address native vegetation issues. Thinning of native vegetation regrowth was the most common activity in the Clyde River-Jervis Bay Basin, where too much native vegetation was an issue; while weed and/or pest management was the most common activity in the Tuross River and Bega River Basins.
Financial data, initiatives and barriers
- Landholders in the Eurobodalla Shire spent $3.6 million addressing soil, water, weeds and pests, and native vegetation issues. On average, this represents $1,541 for each of the 2,327 holdings within the scope of the survey.
- The most commonly identified restrictions to improving land management practices were a lack of financial resources and a lack of time. Family, friends and neighbours were the most likely source for management assistance and information.
- Thirty-three per cent of landholders indicated some future change in ownership or activity conducted on the holding.