Land and agriculture

The shift to a low-carbon future presents significant opportunities for Queensland’s land and agriculture sector and its supply chain to deliver productivity, profitability and environmental benefits.

These include the increased use of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, adoption of circular economy principles, uptake of technologies such as smart monitoring, reducing enteric fermentation and uptake of regenerative farming practices.

Queensland’s agriculture sector already manages risks associated with extreme climate variability, with droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and/or intensity of many of these kinds of extreme events, as well as potential shifts in rainfall patterns and production seasons. These expected changes in climate and the direct effects they will have on agricultural businesses emphasise the need for information and resources to support climate risk management in agriculture.

Government action

Queensland is already acting to reduce emissions in the land and agriculture sector, providing opportunities to store carbon in the landscape and restore natural systems and supporting the agriculture sector to assess and manage climate risks.

Existing actions include:

  • Investments

    • In continuing investment through the Land Restoration Fund, a second round of investment of $25M has been approved by government with details to be released in July 2021.
    • Government is investing $35M to establish the Queensland Natural Capital Fund, which will facilitate private sector co-investment to generate both commercial and environmental market returns while also producing positive environmental, social and economic co-benefits.
    • Established with $3m seed funding in 2018, the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (RECoE) is an applied university research consortium focused on strengthening the economic resilience of Queensland’s rural communities.
    • The Land Restoration Fund (LRF) is expanding carbon farming in Queensland by supporting projects that deliver additional environmental, social, economic and First Nations outcomes—known as co-benefits. Around $87 million has been invested in carbon farming projects through the first round of the LRF. These projects will sequester millions of tonnes of carbon in Queensland landscapes, create regional jobs, provide habitat for threatened species and improve the health of our land and waterways.
    • The Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP) aims to help producers better manage drought and climate impacts. The best climate scientists, government and non-government agencies, producers and industry leaders are working together on a number of cutting-edge research, development and extension projects and partnerships. This research will help farmers manage the financial risks associated with decision-making around droughts and climate variability through improved forecast products, tools and extension activities. DCAP is a 6-year program, with Government investment of $21.4 million complemented by project partner investment of $48.4 million in direct and in-direct funding.
  • Actions

    • The Long Paddock hosts some of the most advanced climate science resources in Australia to support the agriculture sector to improve decision-making in a variable and changing climate.
    • The Queensland Government provides high-resolution climate projection data via the Queensland Future Climate Dashboard, in addition to other climate information and risk assessment resources for the agriculture sector.
    • The Queensland Drought Mitigation Centre (QDMC) is a collaboration of national and international climate modelling expertise and has been established to facilitate the research, development and extension projects under the Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP). The QDMC is a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Department of Environment and Science (DES) and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
    • The $5 million LRF Pilot Projects program is also funding projects that are expanding the scope of Queensland’s carbon farming industry through market development and on-ground projects. The program is demonstrating how carbon farming activities can generate co-benefits and deliver additional value to landholders.
    • Queensland’s biofuels mandate supports the growth of our biofuels industry providing the foundation to further develop a high-tech, knowledge-based bio-manufacturing industry.
    • The Energy Savers Plus program provides energy audits and funding to help 200 agricultural businesses improve their energy efficiency.
    • Best management practice programs reduce fertiliser run-off in Great Barrier Reef catchments and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fertiliser use.
    • Vegetation management legislation increases the protection of high-value regrowth and remnant vegetation. It also reduces greenhouse emissions and boosts the protection of important habitats, including waterways that lead to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Plans

Climate action projects

View all climate action projects

Jobs and skills for Queensland’s future

In the next 10 years, one in three new jobs created in agriculture, fisheries and forestry will be technology related.

Existing initiatives to help create jobs and skill Queenslanders for opportunities in these sectors include:

  • The Queensland Agriculture and Food Research, Development and Extension 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan provides support for innovation and the development of agrotechnology and skills.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agribusiness Gateway Schools Program addresses the fast-moving change that is anticipated as a result of COVID-19. The program targets school and university students to create an employment pipeline for evolving workforce requirements. It does this through employment pilots, skills development and aiding young workers to be ag-tech savvy.
  • DAF’s Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network is a free service available to agribusinesses in Queensland to help them understand options and strategies to identify and meet future workforce needs.
  • Through its Future Skills Fund, the Queensland Government is providing funding for modern infrastructure for TAFE Queensland (TAFEQ) campuses across Queensland to support high-quality training in industries delivering jobs of the future, including agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture. This includes funding for Stage 2 of the Rural Centre of Excellence at the TAFE Queensland Toowoomba campus.
  • The Queensland Government provides targeted investment through a number of vocational education and training programs to assist the various sectors in the agriculture industry to train and upskill their current and future workforce and provide apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.

What you can do

Community, business and industry are encouraged to take action to harness opportunities in a low carbon future.

Read about the Queensland Government’s current grants and funding opportunities.

More sectors

  • The Queensland Government’s commitment to unlock renewable investment and achieve our renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 is a key mechanism to support our emissions reduction targets.

  • The production of wind turbines, solar cells, batteries and high-tech devices like mobile phones offers opportunities for Queensland’s resources sector. ‘New economy minerals’ like copper, cobalt and graphite are critical to these products and place Queensland in a unique position to contribute to the developing high-tech, low carbon economy.

  • The manufacturing sector underpins many other sectors of the Queensland economy, making it important that new technologies and practices are adopted to enhance production and competitiveness.

  • The shift to zero-emission vehicles, including batteries, fuel cells and biofuels, and complementary industries, such as the manufacture of green hydrogen and sustainable mining of essential minerals, can create new manufacturing businesses and jobs. There are also wider benefits from a zero emission future including lower transport costs and improved air quality that will contribute to more liveable and resilient Queensland communities.

  • The shift to a low-carbon future presents significant opportunities for Queensland’s land and agriculture sector and its supply chain to deliver productivity, profitability and environmental benefits.

  • The opportunity to develop more efficient and climate resilient buildings and infrastructure will reduce running costs and avoid expensive reconstruction in the long term.

  • The Queensland tourism industry has the opportunity to demonstrate best practice sustainability and build on Queensland’s reputation as a first-class tourism destination.