North Coast Local Land Services: a Region of outstanding landscapes, livelihoods, and lifestyles
The North Coast LLS Region covers an area of approximately 32,120 sq km. The major population centres are located on the coast and are connected primarily by coastal transport routes. The Region’s Northern, Central and Southern “socio-ecological landscapes”support unique suites of landscape, livelihood and lifestyle values. As such they provide a local basis for LLS planning and delivery, allowing us to connect with the needs of local communities.
A diversity of natural landscapes and a mix of temperate and subtropical climates provide nationally recognised biodiversity and wilderness and wetland areas, and complex and diverse soil systems. The nine large river systems with extensive floodplains have strong connections through to estuarine and marine environments. While a significant proportion of the region is within protected areas, there are many threatened species and communities and significant habitat areas that occur on private land.
The north coast supports a range of diverse and productive natural resource–based livelihoods, including grazing, horticulture, fishing and aquaculture, timber production and tourism. Changes to agricultural viability are driving shifts in traditional framing practices across the region – these shifts include farm aggregation, diversification and intensification, along with the adoption of innovative and best practice approaches. The north coast has a large and capable community actively engaged in sustainable production industries and the management of the Region’s natural resources.
Lifestyles and culture
The north coast is a region of vibrant towns, villages and communities that support diverse coastal and hinterland lifestyles. The people have a strong connection to their healthy, natural and productive landscapes and seascapes and the lifestyles, culture and opportunities they create. An iconic and densely populated coastline provides a focus for recreational pursuits and much sought after sea changer way of life. Aboriginal Peoples are major landholders within the region, moving towards self sustaining communities, partly through their cultural connection to country, and their increasing involvement in land management and ownership.
Integrating the protection, use and conservation of our natural resources across the matrix of land- and sea-uses and public and private lands is seen as fundamental to regional sustainability. There are many influences that can change the landscape, livelihood and lifestyle values of the region, and the manner in which sustainable agriculture and natural resource management are carried out within each of our socio-ecological landscapes. These influences include changing climate and extreme climatic events, changing population demographics, changing land use, and the need to maintain farm and industry viability.
These influences present us with many challenges, including the need to:
- increase the capacity of our communities to participate in sustainable agriculture and undertake effective on-ground natural resource management across the Region
- build on sustainable landuse practices
- maintain water quality
- manage development pressure (particularly on the coast)
- manage land use diversification and intensification
- maintain the availability of agricultural land, commercial and recreational fishing grounds, and aquaculture waters
- halt the decline in biodiversity by reducing habitat loss
- control terrestrial and aquatic invasive species, and maintain strong biosecurity measures that minimise the risk of new introductions
- better understand and manage the marine environment
- build our capacity for emergency response so that we can deal with the region’s changing climate and the extreme climatic events, such as fire, flood and storm surge.