Visionary reform to land management to deliver multiple benefits


A national rollout of an internationally recognised Certified Land Management (CLM) system would improve environmental and animal welfare management, farm profitability and the effectiveness of government funding of natural resource management. It would also help connect urban and rural communities and landholders to food and fibre consumers.

These are the messages of a key note address to be delivered next week at a major forum on land management in Queensland.

“In all the hype about increasing global demand for food and for food security we lose sight of the fact that it is farm profitability and the effective use of hard earned taxpayer dollars that will drive and enable increased food and fibre production,” said CEO of the Australian Land Management Group, Tony Gleeson.

“We need to learn from our recent history,” he cautioned. In the last fifty years, agricultural net farm income and environmental and social resilience have fallen despite substantially increased food production in Australia and rapid expansion in world trade in agricultural products.  We need to and can do better.

“To compete in higher priced markets  we need to differentiate our products, for instance by incorporating attributes that are sought after by discerning customers and consumers, attributes such as the environmental and animal welfare credentials of our production systems,” Mr Gleeson said.

The key lever is for government and industry to invest in a national roll out of a system to verify our credentials through adoption of the CLM system. This would be a win-win-win outcome delivering improved profitability, improved land condition and better use of public expenditure.  The potential gains are very significant.

Land management policy seems to be locked into delivering support through project-based approaches with much micro-analysis and debate over which are the better projects without paying attention to the short-term, fragmenting and high administrative costs inherent in this process.

“There are better ways to do it. One is to efficiently support innovative and progressive landholders who can verify that they are making continuous improvement,” stated Mr Gleeson.

Want to know more? Download Tony Gleeson’s presentation to the Mitchel Muster 18 February 2013.