August 13, 2008 Past Issues No Comments

The network of stock routes in Queensland runs the length and breadth of the state. The trails support wildlife and native vegetation in linked corridors across the landscape. Wildlife

Stock Routes Coalition campaign  post card. Send one to the Premier

Stock Routes Coalition campaign
post card. Send one to the Premier.

Queensland wants to preserve and make the most of the network’s wildlife, conservation and heritage values alongside its value to the pastoral industry.

What is a stock route?

Stock routes form a 72,000km network of trails on public land. Their primary purpose is to support bona fide travelling stock.

The stock routes network [pdf file-1.3mb] covers 2.6Mha. Each trail can vary in width from 60–1600m wide. Whatever its width, it is deemed a public road. Most of the stock route network is managed by individual local authorities. The pastoral industry pays fees to the local authorities to use the stock routes.

What is the issue?

Stock routes are vital:

  • as wildlife corridors connecting the landscape
  • to protect cultural values
  • as buffers against climate change impacts
  • for moving stock sustainably without fuel costs

Stock routes are valuable.

See Stock routes and biodiversity

Stock routes need a future.

  • If the State government allows permanent grazing on the network, the stock routes’ biodiversity will be damaged and it can’t be used by travelling stock.
  • If proper management isn’t put in place by the State government soon, the values of the stock route network will be degraded
  • If the State government doesn’t fund rehabilitation of the network, its value will continue to decline.

Stock routes are under threat.

  • A  State government report looked at the costs of the network and ignored its other values.
  • The report did not recommend a proper management plan for the future of the network.

Stock routes should be retained, managed and restored.

Get involved

Use the ideas listed here to encourage the Queensland Government to protect the stock route network.

  • Use the Stock Routes Coalition campaign postcards available now. Sign and send a card to the Queensland Government to show support for the Coalition’s campaign for stock routes. (Postcards can be sent after 31 August.)
    • Contact Wildlife Queensland for packs of 10 cards. Sign and send one and get 9 friends to do the same.
  • Email the Premier of Queensland and ask her to support the aims of the Stock Routes Coalition.
  • Contact your local Member of Parliament and ask them to support the Stock Routes Coalition.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to tell readers about the campaign. You can use this draft letter.

Stock routes & biodiversity

  • Habitat and biodiversity. Stock routes in some places contain more native plants and greater biodiversity than surrounding agricultural land because the reserves have only been grazed periodically, have not been treated with fertiliser, or ploughed for crops.
  • Did you know?

    The ‘long paddock’ is another name
    for the stock routes network because
    when times got tough in the grazing
    industry, stock would be sent out
    under the care of a droving team to
    graze along the stock routes until
    conditions improved back home.

    Some stock routes follow ancient
    Indigenous trading routes.
    Their continued use has immense
    cultural value today.

    Native seed reservoir. Stock routes can contain native seed sources now lost from surrounding agricultural land.

  • Connectivity. Stock routes are the only network of government land that provides links across the landscape. Some stock routes connect important biodiversity reserves.
  • Climate change. Stock routes could play a role as wildlife corridors to support flora and fauna threatened by climate change.
  • Species refuges. Birds Australia says some bird species now rely on the stock route network for their survival
  • Other values. The network also has value for stock, and for our cultural heritage, especially Indigenous heritage

Wildlife Queensland in action

Wildlife Queensland, as part of the Stock Routes Coalition wants to preserve the stock routes network to ensure the future of the travelling stock facility, with all its biodiversity and pastoral, cultural and Indigenous values. We want the Queensland Government to agree to:

  1. Protect the stock routes in law.
  2. Manage them consistently and properly.
  3. Support and improve the stock route network with adequate funding.

Find out more

Stock Routes Coalition Queensland members include: Applied Environmental Decision Analysis University of Queensland, Birds Australia, Bird Observation & Conservation Australia, Birds Queensland , Chinchilla Field Naturalists Club, Droving and Stock Routes Assn, Murgon Field Naturalists Club, North Burnett Landcare, National Parks Association of Qld, Queensland Naturalists Club, Ravensbourne and District Landcare , South West NRM Ltd, Toowoomba Field Naturalists Club, Toowoomba Bird Observers, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, WWF – Australia.

Read more about stock routes.

For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s campaigns, email or phone +61 (7) 3221 0194.

Wildlife Queensland – August 2008

Written by Wildlifeqld