Northern Gulf Resource Management Group has drawn together a report that addresses some of the many complexities facing our rangelands and communities when addressing fires as an outcome of the recent wildfires in the region.
The North Queensland Wildfires Report 2012-2013 outlines the extent of the fires, the rescue efforts and the ongoing challenges and needs of the community. A conservative analysis on the economic impact for the 26 most affected properties for 2013 was undertaken estimating that there is, at a minimum, over $2 million loss from stock death, $6.5 million loss of productivity, and a minimum $1.6 million loss of infrastructure.
The report will not only serve as an awareness raising tool but it also can assist in identifying what can be done differently to ensure the best outcomes for our grazing community. This and many other issues were discussed at the recent grazing forum hosted by the NGRMG and the Etheridge Shire Council. The 2 day forum covered a range of topics nominated by local landholders including a debrief on the 2012 bushfires with QLD Rural Fire Service, a review of the reality and functionality of disaster and drought relief arrangements and options for management of stocking rate and carrying capacities in fire affected areas to allow for soil and pasture regeneration. Presentations were also given outlining some of the on-going projects within the region including the opportunity to use satellite imagery to enhance grazing management through remote sensing for land cover, fire scars and flood inundation. One of the many outcomes of the forum was the formation of a Gulf Graziers Group who plan to tackle some of the big issues in the region to keep their businesses and the rangelands sustainable for future generations.
The NGRMG will soon be embarking on a new planning process to update the Regional NRM Plan, which will be taking a more socio-economic approach than previous plans to develop a ‘roadmap’ for managing natural resources, and the communities it supports. The complete North QLD Wildfires report can be found on our website www.northerngulf.com.au.