Australia’s hardest working land. The Condamine catchment produces food and fibre for the nation and the world across 2.5 million hectares of land. The region has been extensively developed with much of the land used for agriculture and a significant proportion of ground and surface water resources used for irrigated agriculture.
Climate and soils permit crop growth all year round in some of the most fertile and most valuable agricultural lands in Australia. The annual value of agricultural production is approaching $1 billion, generating benefits worth around $6 billion for the economy. Production for the national and export market includes:
- 25% of Queensland’s grain crops (half a million hectares)
- Approximately 39% of Queensland cotton (90,000 hectares)
- 77% of Queensland egg production representing 44.5 million eggs
- Niche horticultural production critical to Queensland’s supply
Queensland represents 44.5% of Australia’s feedlot capacity of which approximately 70% is managed in the Condamine catchment (272,662 head on 124 feedlots).
Changing landscapes. Land use within the catchment has changed rapidly in recent years with population growth and resulting urban sub-division. A reduction of lot sizes has significantly altered the catchment’s landscape, especially in and around major towns in the eastern part of the catchment – including Toowoomba, Dalby and Warwick. There has also been a rapid expansion of coal mining, coal seam gas production and energy generation within the catchment.
Natural beauty. Despite its heavy land use, the region has retained its natural beauty. Iconic landscapes from the Bunya Mountains to Queen Mary Falls draw many visitors each year, with the Great Dividing Range, rising to 1,400 metres in places, forming the eastern and northern boundaries of the region. The catchment also supports a range of ecosystems which provide habitat for native flora and fauna.