Daly River survey shows residents support balanced development

5 August 2014

A survey has revealed that many Daly River catchment residents are supportive of existing development guidelines and would be comfortable with some land clearing for economic development in the region. 

More than 200 respondents participated, with many indicating they believed they could maintain their outdoors lifestyles if up to 10,000 square kilometres of land were developed.

Charles Darwin University researcher Dr Vanessa Adams said respondents appeared most content with land development of up to 10 per cent (5,000km²) in the area.

Dr Adams said respondents valued using the catchment for activities such as fishing, camping, preserving traditional cultural values, and for future generations to enjoy.

“Residents have been very clear that they are living in these places because they are special,” Dr Adams said.

She said about 20 per cent (10,000km²) of the 50,000km² catchment area was suitable for development.

The map below shows the red areas as being the most suitable for agricultural development and the blue areas the most unsuitable for development.

“The survey suggests that residents would accept up to 20 per cent of the land being allocated for development,” Dr Adams said.

“The 20 per cent limit does not actually constrain development because only approximately 20 per cent of the catchment is suitable for clearing. That amount would probably get you all the appropriate land available for clearing.”

Dr Adams said the survey suggests many residents support current development guidelines already in place for the area, and that the survey could provide information to direct future initiatives in the Daly River catchment.

“About five per cent (2,500km²) of the catchment has already been cleared for development,” Dr Adams said.

  • Read more about the research project, led by James Cook University Professor Robert Pressey and funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program.
  • View a relevant journal article.

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