New Detailed Land Use Maps to Benefit Territorians

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A new mapping project will detail how land is being used in the Northern Territory.

The Australian Government is funding the project in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) and NT Farmers Association (NTFA).

DENR Land Assessment Branch Director Jason Hill said the project represents the first major update to the Territory’s land use maps in about 10 years and will contribute to a national land use picture of the NT’s 1.4 million square kilometres.

“The new mapping will also build an up to date picture of new and expanding agricultural and horticultural land industries in the Territory,” Mr Hill said.

“Other states are also undertaking similar projects that will be combined to build a new national picture.”

Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) Director of Plant Industries Development, Bob Williams, said this information is fundamentally important to farmers, industry groups, developers and many others.

“You’ll be able to see how much land, and which areas, are devoted to horticulture, urban areas, Indigenous uses, forestry, animal industries and more,” Mr Williams said.

“There are many uses for this data, including in biosecurity risk management and emergency disease preparedness.

“If there’s a biosecurity incursion threatening a specific crop, for example, we can pinpoint all the paddocks where that crop is growing and respond quickly.

“Detailed mapping will also inform decisions about regional development, private and government investment and sustainable and efficient use of our soil and water.”

The Land Use Mapping Project is due for completion in June 2017.

NT Farmers Industry Development Manager Greg Owens said: “These maps will show us a lot of useful detail, such as the area and location of crops including which are irrigated and which are not.

“We’ll also be able to add specific data such as which variety of mango or which fodder crops are being produced in a region, for example.

“This information can help our members make well-informed decisions about what to plant and where.”

The maps will be freely available online at the completion of the project on NRMaps or by contacting DENR, DPIR or NT Farmers Association.

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