The strategy provides practical guidance to support the effective management and administration of the stock route network and to balance the multiple uses and values of the network.
Stock route categories
To enable the prioritisation of activities and funding, stock routes are categorised into 3 categories. The criteria for inclusion in these categories are provided below.
Category 1 routes have the following characteristics:
predominantly comprised of more productive and resilient land types
access to reliable water.
They also meet one of the following criteria:
demonstrated history of frequent and high-volume use
identified by local governments to respond to increase in demand
necessary to ensure strategic connectivity to interstate stock routes.
Productive and resilient land types are those that in their natural state:
are dominated by perennial, palatable and productive pasture species
have a moderate to high expected pasture density
have soil characteristics that pose lesser erosion and salinity risks and support pasture growth
are in a part of Queensland that experiences suitable conditions for recovery.
These land types are generally more stable and could absorb disturbances and stresses such as grazing, agriculture, fire, drought, flood, pests and diseases. They can also recover to a state similar to their natural state, rather than an altered state.
Reliable water means stock route water facilities or other waters that:
are sited approximately 10km apart on the network
have a groundwater or other perennial water source whose supply and quality are less likely to be impacted by total or intermittent decline or failure.
Frequent and high-volume use means that 5,000 or more head of stock use the stock route annually. The usage figure is derived from individual years, or from the average of consecutive years if annual stock numbers vary greatly because of climate impacts on pasture availability and condition.
Category 2 routes are stock routes that do not meet Category 1 criteria and have all the following characteristics:
comprised of less productive and resilient land types
demonstrated history of low use
limited access to reliable water.
Low use means that fewer than 5,000 head of stock per year use the stock route. The usage figure is based on usage rates in favourable years. The usage figure is derived from individual years, or from the average of consecutive years if annual stock numbers vary greatly because of climate impacts on pasture availability and condition.
Limited access to reliable water means stock route water facilities or other waters are either:
sited more than 50km apart on the network
sourced from groundwater whose supply and quality are more likely to be impacted by total or intermittent decline or failure
sourced from other waters that are ephemeral, seasonal, or intermittent in supply.
Category 3 routes are stock routes that do not meet Category 1 or 2. Any use on these stock routes will need to be negotiated with the relevant local government and state agency to ensure that values are not harmed, public safety is addressed and if for stock, that there is sufficient pasture or water available.
Their characteristics include one or more of the following:
no recorded use as a stock route in the past 10-20 years
not practical for use by travelling stock but may have limited use for agistment
retained for environmental, cultural, historical, tourism or other values.
Not practical for use means any of the following:
Travel or agistment of stock is likely to have an adverse effect on road safety.
Travel or agistment is impractical or poses unacceptable risks to humans and stock due to one or more of the following:
poisonous plant species
severe land degradation
lack of palatable and perennial pasture over a distance greater than 30km.
Historical routes that have environmental and cultural values or potential to support tourism in regional areas.
Stock route network management plans
Twenty-four local governments in central and western Queensland are required to have local management plans for their area of the stock route network. Contact the relevant local government listed below to view a copy of their plan.