Agricultural resource assessment for the Flinders catchment. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy

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Petheram, Cuan ORCID ID icon; Watson, Ian ORCID ID icon; Stone, Peter


2013-12-01


Report


393 p


Northern Australia comprises approximately 20% of Australia's land mass but remains relatively undeveloped. It contributes about 2% to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) and accommodates around 1% of the total Australian population. Recent focus on the shortage of water and on climate-based threats to food and fibre production in the nation's south have re-directed attention towards the possible use of northern water resources and the development of the agricultural potential in northern Australia. Broad analyses of northern Australia as a whole have indicated that it is capable of supporting significant additional agricultural and pastoral production, based on more intensive use of its land and water resources. The same analyses also identified that land and water resources across northern Australia were already being used to support a wide range of highly valued cultural, environmental and economic activities. As a consequence, pursuit of new agricultural development opportunities would inevitably affect existing uses and users of land and water resources. The Flinders and Gilbert catchments in north Queensland have been identified as potential areas for further agricultural development. The Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment (the Assessment), of which this report is a part, provides a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of the feasibility, economic viability and sustainability of agricultural development in these two catchments as part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agricultural Strategy. The Assessment seeks to: - identify and evaluate water capture and storage options - identify and test the commercial viability of irrigated agricultural opportunities - assess potential environmental, social and economic impacts and risks. By this means it seeks to support deliberation and decisions concerning sustainable regional development. The Assessment differs from previous assessments of agricultural development or resources in two main ways: - It has sought to 'join the dots'. Where previous assessments have focused on single development activities or assets - without analysing the interactions between them - this Assessment considers the opportunities presented by the simultaneous pursuit of multiple development activities and assets. By this means, the Assessment uses a whole-of-region (rather than an asset-by-asset) approach to consider development. ...


CSIRO


Canberra, A.C.T.


Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified


FGARA-CatchmentReport-Flinders-20140130a.pdf (pdf) (34.80MB)

FGARA-CatchmentReport-Flinders-2.pdf (pdf) (35.07MB)


https://doi.org/10.4225/08/585039d5ea56e


This report has been placed on the CSIRO repository and may be made available to persons outside of CSIRO for non commercial purposes, in its entirety and without deletion of disclaimers and copyright information.


CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Report Series


EP1312940


Client Report (Author)


English


Petheram, Cuan; Watson, Ian; Stone, Peter. Agricultural resource assessment for the Flinders catchment. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. Canberra, A.C.T.: CSIRO; 2013. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/585039d5ea56e



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