Queensland is essentially a state of great plains which merge into high country of sharper relief to the east and north-west. The Great Dividing Range runs from the southern border to the northern tip of the state and is the main watershed between the coastal and inland rivers.
Queensland is known as Australia's "sunshine state" although weather conditions vary greatly between the coastal plain and the inland. Conditions range from uniform to summer dominant rainfall with mild winters and hot summers, with a monsoonal wet season from December to March in the north.
Queensland is Australia's second largest state and the third most populous with a population of 3.5 million. More than half of Queensland's population lives outside the greater metropolitan area of its capital city, Brisbane - a large proportion compared with the rest of highly urbanised Australia. The south-east corner is the most densely populated part of the State.
Mining, tourism and agriculture, are the three major industries. Coal is the most important mineral followed by copper, lead, bauxite and zinc. The largest Queensland coal deposits are located in the Bowen Basin. In north-west Queensland is located the Mount Isa silver-lead-zinc and copper mine, the world's largest producer of lead and silver and one of the world's largest producers of copper and zinc.
Queensland is the leading beef-producing State in Australia and due to its tropical and subtropical climatic conditions, is Australia's main producer of sugar cane, a wide variety of cereal crops, citrus, tropical and exotic fruits and vegetables for human consumption.
Agricultural activities cover 147 million hectares with livestock grazing representing 96 percent of this area. The agricultural sector was worth $5.7 billion in Queensland in 1996/97. Cropping represented $2.6 billion, livestock industries $2.2 billion and horticulture $0.9 billion.
Remnant native cover on private land covers nearly 76 percent of the minimal use category within Queensland. At 9.7 million hectares minimal use is the State's second largest land use category. Of the 6.9 million hectares of nature conservation, 95 percent of this area is gazetted IUCN category national park.
Forestry occurs along the coastal regions and further west in the south-east occupying around 2.5 percent of the State.
Areas around Townsville and Gladstone shown as built environment also include large areas of unassigned potentially agricultural land. This has arisen due to insufficient data on the agricultural land uses. Also of note are those areas in the north-west of Queensland shown as dryland agriculture assigned to modified pastures. Although modified pastures are reported in the agricultural statistics for this region, they are unlikely to occur in such concentration and these areas are most likely native pastures.
View an A4 size map of QLD land uses
Acknowledgments and Caveats
The 1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2, is the source of the Australian land use information, maps agricultural and non-agricultural land uses for April 1996 to March 1997.
Non-agricultural land uses were derived from a number of available data sets:
- Protected areas are from the Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database compiled and maintained by Environment Australia (CAPAD97 for Tasmania and CAPAD99 for mainland Australia).
- The topographic features of waterbodies, built-up areas and licensed airports are from TOPO-250K Version 1 (February 1999 update) released by Geoscience Australia.
- The 1997 Australian Land Tenure Data Set compiled by the National Forest Inventory (NFI) provided distribution of public, private and aboriginal land in Australia. Native and plantation forests are from the 1997 Australian Native and Plantation Forestry Data Set compiled by the NFI. The forestry data was improved by inclusion of Queensland plantation data from the 1995 Australian Land Cover Data Set prepared by the Bureau of Rural Sciences.
Agricultural land uses were determined through an automated process to spatially allocate the agricultural census data using satellite imagery using a method described as SPREAD (Walker & Mallawaarachchi 1998). Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data captured by the Australian Centre for Remote Sensing was processed by CSIRO Division of Marine Research. Further processing was undertaken by Environment Australia to provide maximum NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) composite images with the majority of cloud contamination removed.
Control sites were provided by various state and territory agencies largely through field visits and farmer interviews. The participating agencies were: NSW Agriculture, Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, QLD Department of Natural Resources, Primary Industries and Resources SA, Agriculture WA, Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment and NT Department of Lands Planning and Environment.
The maps of land use across Australia use a simplified 5km grid cell, whilst the State and territory maps utilise the 1km grid cell size of the 1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2. All tabular data was determined from the 1km grided product.
The data presented (unless indicated) reflects 1996/97 statistics from a range of sources with particular use of the 1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics' agricultural census data, AgStats.
Those establishments with only a small contribution to overall agricultural production are excluded from the agricultural census. Since 1993/94 all establishments with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5000 or more are included. This EVAO was previously $22500 or more. The value of agricultural production is expressed in terms of gross value. Gross value is defines as the value placed on recorded production at wholesale prices realised in principal markets.
The reliability maps are relevant only to the agricultural land uses assigned to the 1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2 data using the SPREAD method (Walker & Mallawaarachchi 1998) which provides two measures of reliability:
- Affinity - the difference between a cell's NDVI profile and the NDVI profile of the control site used to assign the land use. A value of 0 indicates a perfect match and 1 indicates maximum dissimilarity.
- Pass number - the number of iterations required to allocate the agricultural land use to a cell. The smaller the value, the more reliable the land use allocation.
For simplicity, the affinities and pass numbers have been categorised into 3 classes.
|Most reliable :||affinity values of 0.000 to 0.030 and those areas manually allocated|
|Medium reliability :||affinity values of 0.030 to 0.047|
|Least reliable :||affinity values of 0.047 to 0.483|
|Most reliable :||1 pass and those areas manually allocated|
|Medium reliability :||2 or 3 passes|
|Least reliable :||4 to 19 passes|
Factors such as the representativeness of the control site used (affected by distance, geographical region, homogeneity etc) and the number of different agricultural land uses within a region to be solved affect the affinity value and pass number obtained for an individual pixel.
|Land Use Description||Total Extent ('000 ha)||Total Extent (%)|
|Other protected areas including indigenous uses||2507.7||1.5|
|Waterbodies not elsewhere classified||1238||.7|
Where are the agricultural lands in Australia?
What sources of information were used?
Australian Bureau of Statistics (1999) AgStats: Small Area of Agricultural Commodity Data 1996-97
Australian Bureau of Statistics (1999b) Australian Demographic Statistics. (3101.0 June 1999)
Australian Land Use Management Classification
Bureau of Rural Sciences (1997) National Forest Inventory, Australian Tenure 1:250 000
Bureau of Rural Sciences (1999) 1995 Land Cover 1:25 000
Bureau of Rural Sciences (1999) National Forest Inventory, Native Forest and Plantations of Australia 1:250 000
Division of National Mapping (1980) Atlas of Australian Resources, Third Series, Volume 1 Soils and Land Use. Canberra
Environment Australia (1998) Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database - CAPAD97
Environment Australia (2000) Collaborative Australian Protected Areas Database - CAPAD99
National Land and Water Resources Audit (2001) 1996/97 Land Use of Australia, Version 2
Randall, L (2001). Coordination of land use mapping of key implementation areas. Final Report BRR6. National Land and Water Resources Audit, Canberra.
Stewart, J.B., Smart, R.V., Barry, S.C. and Veitch, S.M. (2001)1996/97 Land Use of Australia - Final Report for Project BRR5 , National Land and Water Resources Audit, Canberra.
Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (1999) Tasmanian Rural and Fishing Industry Profiles
Walcott, J.J., Zuo, H. and Rath, H. (2001) Recent changes in agricultural land use in Australia. Proceedings of the 10th Australian Agronomy Conference, Hobart, 2001
Walker, P.A. and Mallawaarachchi, T. (1998) Disaggregating agricultural statistics using NOAA-AVHRR NDVI. Remote Sensing and the Environment 63, 112-125
- Link to the map maker to view national land use information
- Link to the Australian Natural Resources Data Library to download national and regional scale land use data
- Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Geoscience Australia
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics
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