Contemporary land-use pressures on the land environment

Component
Summary
Grade
Very high impact High impact Low impact Very low impact
Confidence
In Grade In Trend
Comparability
To previous years

The size of the conservation estate and the area of land managed by Indigenous organisations continue to increase, although there are still concerns about the adequacy of representation of ecosystem types

Year(s): 
2016
4
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

The extent of these areas is increasing, but active management of various forms is needed to protect or maintain their environmental values

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Grazing is still a significant major land use, with a range of potential impacts. Slight declines in grazing (mostly intensive, rather than extensive, grazing) 

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Grazing impacts on environmental values are decreasing in some regions but increasing in others

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Agriculture continues to disrupt environmental services and threaten integrity of some land types, although improvements in land management continue. Modelling suggests that these management changes will reduce impacts on agricultural systems and downstream environments

Year(s): 
2016
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Local and landscape-scale impacts in agricultural regions may be high, and appear to be diminishing for some factors but increasing for others

Year(s): 
2011
2
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Limited
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Challenges in achieving agreed management targets could impact biodiversity values, although most environmental service values will still be met

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

Topics

The extent and scale of commercial wood harvesting from public native forests have diminished substantially, and harvesting and other activities are strongly regulated

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Topics

A net decrease in the size of the plantation estate (because of declining investment) will have major impacts on the industry, but, because of its small footprint, a relatively minor impact at the national scale

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

The expansion of plantation forests was significant in some regions, but impacts on environmental values were generally limited, unless the site was converted directly from native vegetation. The area of plantation forests remained small as a proportion of land area, and plantation forestry became more strongly regulated

Year(s): 
2011
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Ongoing conflict among land-use options, with urban and residential use alienating high-value agricultural land, are likely to continue as population pressures increase around major cities

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

The impacts of urban and rural residential development are substantial in the areas in which they are concentrated (i.e. around major cities and along parts of the coastline), and are increasing. The scale of development is increasing in these areas

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Although mining developments have contracted, there are still significant new mine site developments in areas of potential high impact and conflict with other land uses. The legacy of past mining is still large. There is considerable public concern about unconventional gas developments

Year(s): 
2016
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

The scale of mining is increasing rapidly, and the potential impact on environmental values from new forms of mining is substantial in those regions where it is occurring

Year(s): 
2011
2
Deteriorating
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed

Waste management is mostly well regulated. Increasing re-use is encouraging, but per-person waste production is growing

Year(s): 
2016
3
Stable
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Somewhat adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not comparable

The impacts of waste disposal are generally low because of management systems and the small relative area affected. However, the volume of waste is increasing, and impacts are concentrated around major settlements or industrial centres

Year(s): 
2011
3
Improving
Confidence (in grade): 
Adequate
Confidence (in trend): 
Adequate
Comparability (to previous reports): 
Not assessed
Metcalfe D, Bui E (2016). Land: Contemporary land-use pressures on the land environment. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, https://soe.environment.gov.au/assessment-summary-57-contemporary-land-use-pressures-land-environment, DOI 10.4226/94/58b6585f94911