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Change in available soil and land resources

Key Finding

In the 20 years from 1999 to 2019, <0.1% (63,411km2) of the State changed land use, with 3.6% (54,775km2) of land capable of agricultural production became unavailable for agriculture due to other uses over this period.

Queensland

Queensland has finite land resources suitable for agricultural production. These can be further limited by factors such as urban development or conservation protection.

In the 20 years from 1999 to 2019, <0.1% (63,411km2) of the State changed land use, with 3.6% (54,775km2) of land capable of agricultural production becoming unavailable for agriculture due to other uses.

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred:

  • 1% (1,734km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 4% (2,572km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 4% (50,469km2) of the Class C (grazing).

The total change across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land resulted in an overall increase of 63,411km2 for the following categories:

  • Conservation — 76% (58,242km2) increase in the state
  • Indigenous management/title — 10% (3,189km2) increase in the state
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 24% (1,979km2) increase in the state.

N.B percentage values represent the proportion made unavailable of each class as a total of that class.

Brigalow Belt

The Brigalow Belt (BRB) bioregion represents 21% (365,159km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 344,944km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 339,386km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 5,558km2 (1.6% of the agricultural land available in the BRB bioregion in 1999, or 0.4% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.5% (512km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.9% (97km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 2% (4,949km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 1.5% (5,598km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 45% (4,271km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 36% (1,327km2) increase in the bioregion.

Cape York Peninsula

The Cape York Peninsula (CYP) bioregion represents 7% (122,876km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 67,713km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 44,618km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 23,095km2 (34% of the agricultural land available in the CYP bioregion in 1999, or 1.5% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 31% (661km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 26% (2,183km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 35% (20,251km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 21% (25,283km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 144% (23,084km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Indigenous cultural management — 7% (2,112km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 46% (87km2) increase in the bioregion.

Central Queensland Coast

The Central Queensland Coast (CQC) bioregion represents 0.8% (14,778km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 10,669km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 10,198km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 472km2 (4.4% of the agricultural land available in the CQC bioregion in 1999, or <0.1% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 1% (23km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 1% (12km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 6% (437km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 4% (574km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 35% (529km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 19% (45km2) increase in the bioregion.

Channel Country

The Channel Country (CHC) bioregion represents 13% (232,083km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 189,512km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 180,447km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 9,065km2 (4.8% of the agricultural land available in the CHC bioregion in 1999, or 0.6% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 3.9% (9,065km2) of the Class C (grazing).

N.B due to climatic factors of the bioregion, no land was assessed as suitable for cropping (class A and B land).

Between 1999 and 2019, 4% (9,095km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 59% (9,089km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 8% (6km2) increase in the bioregion.

Desert Uplands

The Desert Uplands (DEU) bioregion represents 4% (69,410km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 66,325km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 257km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 257km2 (0.4% of the agricultural land available in the DEU bioregion in 1999, or <0.1% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.4% (0.1km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.3% (26km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 0.4% (231km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 0.4% (258km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 13% (251km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 8% (7km2) increase in the bioregion.

Einasleigh Uplands

The Einasleigh Uplands (EIU) bioregion represents 7% (116,257km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 108,913km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 104,826km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 4,086km2 (3.8% of the agricultural land available in the EIU bioregion in 1999, or 0.3% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 4.7% (290km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.8% (126km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 4.3% (3,670km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 3.9% (4,539km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 167% (4,357km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Indigenous cultural management — increase of 154km2 from a base of none in the bioregion in 1999
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 10% (28km2) increase in the bioregion.

Gulf Plains

The Gulf Plains (GUP) bioregion represents 13% (218,970km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 189,865km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 104,826km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 4,708km2 (2.5% of the agricultural land available in the GUP bioregion in 1999, or 0.3% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.04% (11km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.02% (2km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 3.1% (4,695km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 2.3% (5,090km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 84% (4,575km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Indigenous cultural management — 17% (496km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 17% (19km2) increase in the bioregion.

Mitchell Grass Downs

The Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD) bioregion represents 14% (241,617km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 233,177km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 232,681km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 496km2 (0.2% of the agricultural land available in the MGD bioregion in 1999, or <0.1% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.02% (0.4km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.01% (0.3km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 0.2% (496km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 0.2% (497km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 13% (475km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 8.5% (22km2) increase in the bioregion.

Mulga Lands

The Mulga Lands (MUL) bioregion represents 11% (186,058km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 173,759km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 170,049km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 3,699km2 (2.1% of the agricultural land available in the MUL bioregion in 1999, or 0.2% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.1% (11km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 2.3% (3,688km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 2.0% (3,701km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 72% (3,681km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 15% (20km2) increase in the bioregion.

New England Tableland

The New England Tableland (NET) bioregion represents 0.4% (7,734km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 7,360km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 7,325km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 34km2 (0.4% of the agricultural land available in the NET bioregion in 1999, or <0.1 of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.2% (2km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 0.5% (32km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 0.4% (34km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 11% (31km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 4% (3km2) increase in the bioregion.

Northwest Highlands

The Northwest Highlands (NWH) bioregion represents 4% (73,432km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 68,409km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 68,292km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 117km2 (0.2% of the agricultural land available in the NWH bioregion in 1999, or <0.1% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 0.2% (117km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 0.2% (117km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 1.7% (66km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 48% (51km2) in the bioregion.

Southeast Queensland

The Southeast Queensland (SEQ) bioregion represents 4% (62,209km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 34,860km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 33,894km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 966km2 (2.8% of the agricultural land available in the SEQ bioregion in 1999, or <0.1 % of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 1.1% (71km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 1.1% (33km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 3.4% (862km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 4.6% (2,867km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 37% (2,526km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 13% (341km2) increase in the bioregion.

Wet Tropics

The Wet Tropics (WET) bioregion represents 1% (19,903km2) of Queensland.

In 1999, 8,987km2 of land was available for agriculture. While in 2019, 6,764km2 of land was available for agriculture. This represents a reduction in the land available for agriculture of 2,223km2 (25% of the agricultural land available in the WET bioregion in 1999, or 0.1% of agricultural land in Queensland).

Reductions in each of the following agricultural land classifications occurred in the bioregion:

  • 4% (152km2) of the Class A (cropping)
  • 13% (94km2) of the Class B (cropping)
  • 45% (1,977km2) of the Class C (grazing).

Between 1999 and 2019, 29% (5,758km2) of the bioregion changed land use — across all categories from land classes A, B, C and D, as well as unassessed land. This resulted in increases in the following categories:

  • Conservation — 110% (5,307km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Indigenous cultural management — 161% (427km2) increase in the bioregion
  • Development for urban or industrial purposes — 9% (24km2) increase in the bioregion.

More information:

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets

  • GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER

Change in available soil and land resources

  • Chart
  • Table
UseHectares
Class A-1,733.98
Class B-2,571.72
Class C-50,469.42
Class D-5,753.86
No Data-2,526.10
Alienated1,979.80
Conservation58,242.85
WaterWetlands-353.39
Indigenous3,189.09

Percentage change in area between 1999 and 2019

  • Chart
  • Table
UsePercent Change
Class A-1.09
Class B-4.25
Class C-3.93
Class D-24.81
No Data-15.96
Alienated24.36
Conservation75.79
WaterWetlands-0.51
Indigenous9.68

Change in available soil and land resources in Brigalow Belt

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-512.00
Class B-96.80
Class C-4,948.80
Class D-16.00
No Data-2.33
Alienated1,327.02
Conservation4,270.69
WaterWetlands-21.26
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Channel Country

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A0.00
Class B0.00
Class C-9,065.03
Class D0.00
No Data-23.59
Alienated5.72
Conservation9,089.57
WaterWetlands-6.66
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Central Queensland Coast

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-23.02
Class B-11.85
Class C-436.79
Class D-52.70
No Data-37.83
Alienated45.06
Conservation528.85
WaterWetlands-8.64
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Cape York Peninsula

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-660.74
Class B-2,183.36
Class C-20,250.95
Class D-1,724.72
No Data-455.00
Alienated86.61
Conservation23,084.73
WaterWetlands-3.49
Indigenous2,112.33

Change in available soil and land resources in Desert Uplands

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-0.15
Class B-25.77
Class C-231.34
Class D-0.04
No Data0.00
Alienated6.58
Conservation250.92
WaterWetlands-0.21
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Einasleigh Uplands

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-290.14
Class B-125.69
Class C-3,670.07
Class D-406.81
No Data-24.59
Alienated28.16
Conservation4,357.46
WaterWetlands-22.08
Indigenous153.76

Change in available soil and land resources in Gulf Plains

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-10.85
Class B-1.91
Class C-4,694.89
Class D-241.38
No Data-1.34
Alienated19.14
Conservation4,574.92
WaterWetlands-146.61
Indigenous495.57

Change in available soil and land resources in Mitchell Grass Downs

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-0.38
Class B-0.27
Class C-495.67
Class D0.00
No Data0.00
Alienated22.24
Conservation474.60
WaterWetlands-0.51
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Mulga Lands

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-10.97
Class B0.00
Class C-3,688.34
Class D-0.06
No Data-0.72
Alienated19.52
Conservation3,681.08
WaterWetlands-0.50
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in New England Tableland

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-2.30
Class B0.00
Class C-32.12
Class D0.00
No Data0.00
Alienated3.14
Conservation31.28
WaterWetlands0.00
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Northwest Highlands

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A0.00
Class B0.00
Class C-116.75
Class D0.00
No Data0.00
Alienated51.25
Conservation66.34
WaterWetlands-0.85
Indigenous0.00

Change in available soil and land resources in Southeast Queensland

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-70.86
Class B-32.50
Class C-861.71
Class D-1,564.49
No Data-230.35
Alienated341.45
Conservation2,525.58
WaterWetlands-105.67
Indigenous-0.02

Change in available soil and land resources in Wet Tropics

  • Chart
  • Table
UseChange
Class A-152.57
Class B-93.57
Class C-1,976.96
Class D-1,747.66
No Data-1,750.35
Alienated23.91
Conservation5,306.83
WaterWetlands-36.91
Indigenous427.45

Download data from Queensland Government data

Metadata

Change in area of available soil and land resources for agricultural production from 1999 to 2019. Analysis uses Agricultural Land Class, the most current Queensland land use mapping (QLUMP) 2019 and the historical 1999 QLUMP coverage. QLUMP layers were used to exclude areas of land unavailable for potential agricultural activity in 1999 and 2019. The difference represents the change in area available for potential agricultural production. Final map categories represent area change 1999 to 2019: Class A, B, C, D lands, No ALC assessment,  Alienated land (permanent and temporary), Conservation, Water and wetlands, Indigenous cultural management.