Agricultural land in SEQ is important for commodity production and provides valued open space, scenic amenity, and other benefits to local and regional towns. Urban food gardens and local food systems also have economic, social, and environmental benefits where they bring communities together and offset some of the costs of transporting food long distances. Recognising land use pressures on agricultural land in SEQ will result in some losses, the NRM Plan targets the maintenance of at least 90% of agricultural land as a core asset for the economy, livelihood, and sustainability of the region.
Headline Target: Farmland (L2)
By 2031, >90% (>266 667 hectares) of SEQ agricultural land at 2004 will be available for sustainable agriculture.
L 1 – Salinity
By 2031, the area of secondary salinisation in SEQ will be 10% less than in 2008.
L 3 – Soil acidity
By 2031, the area of acidified agricultural soils within SEQ will be reduced by 50% from the 2008 baseline.
L 4 – Soil organic matter
By 2031, the level of soil organic matter (carbon in t hectares) in agricultural soils will be higher than in 2008 or baseline year.
L 5 – Acid sulfate soils (ASS)
By 2031, the area of ‘severe’ acidification caused by the disturbance of ASS will be lower than in 2008.
L 6 – Soil erosion
By 2031, the extent of erosion from hill slopes and gullies will be reduced by 50% from the 2008 baseline.
L 7 – Grazing land condition
By 2031, 75% of grazing land in SEQ will be in a ‘good’ condition.
L 8 – Land contamination
By 2031, existing contamination sites and off-site impacts will be reduced; and no new sites will be created over the 2008 baseline data.
L 9 – Extractive resources
By 2031, extractive resources within “key resource areas” in SEQ will be available for their highest use with no net loss of other environmental and landscape values.
The 2016 NRM Plan Review found:
- Land use change across cropping, grazing, and forestry totalled up to 136,245 hectares, with over 91% of SEQ agricultural lands still available.
- Erosion risk had increased by 83,736 hectares since 2008 to a total of 338,762 hectares.
- Land affected by salinity increased from 17,699 hectares to 17,742 hectares since 2008.
- There were concerns regarding potential future loss of 65,300 hectares of agricultural land, increased erosion in future urban growth areas, and rising salinity due to land use change and rainfall patterns.