Defence land unsuitable for cattle grazing: ADF

James Nason, 12/05/2015

Army-owned grazing land in North Queensland may be carrying an abundance of underutilised grass but it is unlikely to be made available to drought-affected cattle.

With northern cattle producers about to enter their third successive winter on the back of a failed summer grass growing season, Townsvile livestock agent Tim McHugh recently called for former cattle properties Dotswood Station and Fanning River, which are now owned by the Australian Defence Force, to be opened up for cattle grazing.

In response an Australian Defence Force spokesperson told Beef Central that all requests for civilian use of Defence land would be considered on a case by case basis.

However, the spokesperson indicated that it was unlikely grazing cattle and military operations could co-exist in harmony.

“Generally Defence training areas are unsuitable for livestock agistment due to safety and environmental concerns, as well as conflicts with ADF training activities,” the ADF spokesperson said.

“In the case of Dotsworth and Fanning River, these areas are scheduled for heavy use in support of a large number of ADF exercises.

“All requests for civilian use of Defence land are considered on a case by case basis.”

Requests could be submitted via the Defence Assistance to the Civil Community process, with applications to the Joint Operations Support Staff(JOSS) located in each State.



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