australia icomos plan for contribution to world rural landscapes

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AUSTRALIA plan for World Rural Landscapes Project

Jane LennonPresentation to US ICOMOSPhiladelphia, 5 April 2014AUSTRALIA ICOMOS plan for contribution to World Rural Landscapes Project The World Rural Landscapes (WRL) initiative launched by the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS-IFLA to foster the worldwide cooperation in the study, management and protection of rural landscapes.

Proposed Initial Project Actions: Define the geographic scope: our continent Includes all rural areas that produce food on and underground, water, woodlands, pastures as well as agriculture fish farming, forestry, hunting.

Note: Although Rodney Harrison estimated in Shared Landscapes (2004) that some 98% of NSW after 1788 used for pastoral purposes (i.e., to produce wool as well as meat and dairy), the WRL, as explained by Dr Lionella Scazzosi at our AI Canberra meeting last October, intended to apply to the present and the extent of food-producing landscapes

ACTION TO DATEForm an Australian Committee of interested ISC/CL members, experts on cultural landscape programs and experts on different geographic regions.

Share information on the WRL project through the NSC email site and Dropbox.

Prepared a task list, an implementation schedule and identify proposed leads for each of the WRL Outputs (Australian Bibliography, Glossary, Landscape Classification Types or Categories, and Case Studies)

Finalized an agenda item for the NSC meeting proposed for 8 March, 2014 in Canberra to review drafts Outputs.

Request an extension for the Outputs until the end of April to incorporate NSC members input.

Issues to dateCategories outlined in the WRL doc relate poorly to Australian agriculture. Continental scale yet productive lands concentrated in wetter areasLittle application of landscape analysis to majority of rural landscapes few contributors

Not many case studies by our members planners on city edges; archaeologists on mining sites, corridors; architects on rural buildings Government reports tend to be about rural produce, biodiversity and water conservationNot enough interest or debate about rural heritage applied to landscapes

The South West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study :detailed insight into landscape character types and most significant landscapes of the region.

The Battle for Bowering Hill: Landscape evaluation and its influence onpolicy making for the Willunga Basin, South Australia.

95% of Australians live within 50 kms of the coast


Rural landscapes differ by zonesmall scale around cities, vast ingrain beltsAesthetic values arising from seasonal changes cannot be protected through planning controlsCattle rather than sheep dot the landscape.


Rural planning schemes value significant biodiversityHeritage protection only small percentage of colonial estates.Little discussion of what is a traditional farm and how much change is acceptable

protect remnant vegetation on ridges and streamsides, allow connectivity via vegetation corridors, allow cropping on good soils.8

Where are the agricultural lands in Australia?

Climate in the driest continent and soils determine where agricultural activities occur.Choice of crop and pasture species return nutrients to the system, maintain soil structure,

Pastoral 5400 farms Wheatsheep 54 300 farms High rainfall 57 800 farmsFirst slide showed vast empty centre-IPAs and marginal land; soils (naturally infertile and shallow, with deficiencies in phosphorus or nitrogen)9Rural landscape characteristics Wooded hilltopsSingle paddock treesCropping on creek flatsCattle grazing taking over from sheepHouse located on slope above any flood levelCorrugated iron outbuildings

Intensive agriculture in valley bottom, Boonah, Qld

Extensive grazing in well watered Border Ranges, Qldand outback WA, 2012

Kenneth Macqueen 1938 contour ploughing for grain; 2013 cotton QLDs Darling Downs12Irrigated crops, 2012

Robotic dairies -1000+ cows14

Laidley , vegetable growing landscapeLaidley vegetable growing landscape15

Plantation forestry on former marginal farmland, northern NSW

From redundant technology to certified organic

Tasmania redundant apple cool stores, oast house for drying hops17National all of Australia 977/2232NSW151Victoria91Tasmania109Queensland465South Australia43Western Australia 68Northern Territory3 Number of farm associated places listed in the Australian Heritage Places Inventory2012

Heritage Listing and protection

Built components identified

Designed colonial farms and estates, many convict built, protected; many now relict landscape features.

Associated agricultural landscapes - not protected under heritage controls, but Rural Use zone in planning schemes.

Local Environment Plans [LEPs] identify heritage items, mostly buildings, and aim to protect the visual character of distinctive farming areas with controls on windfarms, power lines etc

Rural landscapes are key images in Australian Impressionism art and much admired.

Built: windmills, fences, homesteads, shearing sheds, bores, stock yards, travelling stock routes, bush roads and railheads. 19

1820s most intact farm in Aust all designed landscape20Australian Alpsrelict features in national park landscape devoid of pastoral activity, with natural regeneration

21TrendsLifestyle farming on small acreages increasing close to cities; emphasis on organic products.Weekend farmers markets often in parks selling direct to consumers.Aggregations and large scale farming in grain beltsAverage farmer is 56 years old - family farm model evolving into a more corporate business structureHuge increase in productivity in dairying, grain productionNo till farming of grain paddocks protects soil but changes landscapeCattle are predominant over sheep -Australia is still worlds largest producer of fine wool. Marginal farmlands being added to conservation reserves and parks.

Farm holdings are increasing in size; e.g. in the cropping industry number of farm businesses fell by 29 % over the period 1983 2004, from around 19 000 to 13 500 but average area cropped per farm rose by 30 % from 700 hectares to 910 hectares.

22Farming trends

Note the different scales organic small to vast; bottom RH plastic covering middle distance23

Changing scales and uses in Australias rural landscapes Thank you


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