Sustainable Farming in the Majura Valley

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Mount Majura Vineyard and a newly planted trufferie in 2006

The Majura Valley lies east of the range associated with Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura. The Valley includes a significant area owned by the Department of Defence, most of which is used for training purposes (the Majura Training Area). Other large areas are occupied by the Canberra Airport and the Australian Federal Police’s driver training area. Land leased for public uses include Innabaanya Girl Guide Camp, the Majura Pine Plantation, and the Majura Park Gun Club. The remainder of the Valley is leased by 13 rural landholders.  Woolshed Creek, which provides the fourth biggest water input to Lake Burley Griffin, flows through the Valley and many of the properties.

This project was developed because of widespread uncertainty among the rural landholders regarding their future in the Valley.

A grant was received under the Community Action Grant component of the Caring for our Country initiative in September 2010 to carry out a project with the following objectives:

  • to prepare an options paper to identify landholder baseline knowledge,
  • to identify the willingness of Valley landholders to adopt sustainable agriculture / protection of endangered ecosystems,
  • to identify the level of commitment landholders would adopt if granted long-term leases of 99 years,
  • to identify land management options for the Majura Valley, drawing on expert advice, and
  • to develop a Majura Valley management plan.
Sherry McArdle-English introduces Stephen Howard, Project Manager for the Majura Parkway at the launch of the report on 13 September

Information about the situation of each landholder was obtained through interviews using a standard questionnaire. The final report tells the story of each landholder, including their current land uses, landcare related management activities, future management plans if long-term tenure is granted and major uncertainties.  Most landholders would like to continue to live in the Valley, continue to carry out rural enterprises, and to manage their land in a more sustainable way. However three factors currently are a major disincentive for them to invest in long-term sustainable management of their properties. These factors are:

  • the lack of long-term certainty about their leases and/or uncertainty related to withdrawal clauses,
  • the potential impacts of the proposed Majura Parkway, and
  • government proposals for the area articulated in its Eastern Broadacre study.

The Report was launched on 13 September, 2011.

Download the report ( 1.28MB)

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