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Updated mapping information provides status of land use in Australia

Updated mapping information provides status of land use in Australia

Featured image
by ABARES. 

Over 585 million hectares, or 76%, of Australia’s land use mapping information
has been updated for the Catchment scale land use of Australia – Update
September 2017.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES)
Executive Director, Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the updated data is the best
available for Australia’s regions.

“This update improves the currency of land mapping
information released in May 2016. These land use data products are recognised
as foundational spatial data for Australia, by showing the location and extent
of how we use the landscape,” Dr. Hatfield-Dodds said.

“Comprehensive land use mapping informs and supports
innovative and prompt responses to economic, social and environmental
challenges facing the agricultural sector.

“Some of these challenges arise in the scope of productivity
and sustainability, biodiversity, conservation, land use planning, natural
disaster management and natural resource investment and management.”

According to the media
release
, land use data resources are developed by ABARES with national,
state and territory agencies as part of the Australian Collaborative Land Use
and Management Program (ACLUMP),
with the support of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

“Land use is mapped using high resolution imagery and is
then verified through local, expert and industry input and field validation.
The data has a currency of 2003 to 2017 (reflecting when an area was last
mapped) and a scale of 1:5,000 to 1:250,000.

“Land use is mapped according to the Australian Land Use and
Management Classification version 8, released in October 2016. Primary,
secondary and tertiary classes describe the use of land for conservation and
natural environments, production from dryland or irrigated agriculture and
plantations, intensive uses and water features.”

The following areas have been updated since the May 2016
release of the Catchment Scale Land Use of Australia dataset:

  • Desert Channels and Mackay-Whitsundays natural resource management (NRM) regions in Queensland
  • The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM region in South Australia (extending into part of the Murray-Darling Basin NRM region)
  • The state of New South Wales
  • The state of Victoria
  • The state of Tasmania
  • The state of Western Australia
  • The Northern Territory.

Complementing the Catchment Scale Land Use of
Australia 
is the first release of a commodities dataset - the Catchment
Scale Land Use of Australia – Commodities – September 2017
. This commodity
information can be extracted or combined with other spatial datasets to provide
new insights and analysis concerning land use in Australia.

Agricultural commodity level mapping is available for all of
the Northern Territory, and for the following commodities nationally (as at the
date mapped):

  • Crops  – rice, sugar cane, cotton
  • Fruit   – bananas (except Southern Queensland), avocados, mangoes, olives, grapes
  • Nuts   – macadamias
  • Livestock  – dairy cattle, pigs, poultry, horse studs, aquaculture.

The focus of this first release of commodities data has been
horticultural and intensive animal industries to support biosecurity
preparedness and response.

These two national datasets and the original individual
state and territory data (from which the national datasets were derived) are
accessible to download via Land
usee data download
.