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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

Vegetation Management – What are our Extension Priorities in Queensland?

Name of Leader:

Andy Grodecki

Names of Participants:

Rob Chataway, Laurie Capill, Tina Ball, Jo Millar Craig Middelton, Glen Conroy

Main points of discussion

  • Topic Changes from Tree Clearing to a broader consideration of Vegetation Management
  • What NR&M’s current priorities?
  • Vegetation Management Officers are almost exclusively committed to processing vegetation clearing applications with little time for traditional extension activity.
  • The preparation of Property Vegetation Management Plans and the dialogue that may occur during the assessment of the applications can provide significant learning opportunities and behavioural change.
  • In making determinations on what can and cannot be cleared we as a community are placing a community value on retained vegetation but we do not provide support for the management of this vegetation. It is very easy to unwittingly or deliberately severely degrade the retained vegetation.

Major outcomes (what have you achieved from this discussion; how can this make a difference; what else do you need to do?)

  • There is a need to address the threats and management needs of areas of retained vegetation whether compulsory or voluntary retention during the vegetation management extension process. Landholders with smaller areas of remnant vegetation and/or regrowth vegetation are not provided extension support for sustainable management of these areas.
  • The scale and quality of the regional ecosystem maps need improvement.
  • There is a need to use proactive approaches and partnerships to encourage best practice (eg. Stewardship payments, joint ventures, sustainable harvesting of resources)
  • Dairy Farmers typically operate on highly altered landscapes. What are some the drivers that may influence Dairy Farmer approaches to managing/restoring native vegetation on their property? Awareness of the values and benefits of native vegetation. Identify presence of icon species, conduct field days, property visits etc to provide deeper understanding of existing vegetation. Connect the role of vegetation in managing water quality and potential impact upon milk yields.
  • The greatest scope for change is with the younger generation landholders and children. Use the role kids play in educating their parents and other adults. Ensure that landcare/ natural resource management is in the school curriculum.
  • Perhaps should focus effort and resources upon the early adopters. (After Atkisson?)

  • Use case studies and other methods of champion innovators
  • Establish vegetation management discussion/email groups
  • Use mass media – inserts/articles in local papers; radio; locally relevant and locally distributed brochures.
  • Use a diversity of extension approaches that build upon farming styles and learning styles concepts.

Key messages/outcome to aim for next couple of years

  • Good vegetation management practice makes good long term business sense
  • Provide opportunities/information for learning about vegetation management values
  • Provide opportunities/information for learning of benefits of more intensive/effective use of already cleared areas.

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