​Land uses have a major effect on Tasmania’s natural resources, agricultural production and environment through their impacts on water, soil, nutrients, plants and animals. There is also a strong link between changing patterns of land use and economic and social conditions. This base dataset is readily available and is a nationally consistent detailed land use spatial mapping for essential management of sustainable natural resources. 

Land use datasets support

  • Biosecurity risk assessment and emergency preparedness and planning for plant and animal diseases and incursions.

  • Natural disaster management support with location of assets (for example vineyards, dairy sheds, orchards) for preparing and responding to the impact of these events.

  • Water and sediment quality modelling for catchments and dairy farming supported by Water Quality Improvement Plans (WQIP) and the DairyTas Clean Rivers Program.

  • Planning schemes to help define agricultural and rural land.
  • Land use change to inform water quality and quantity for the Derwent Estuary Program.
  • Mapping and calculating the extent and change of expanding irrigated agriculture.


Land use mapping in Tasmania has occurred over time and in the past as discrete projects, the most recent and future mapping is developing towards repeatable processes and multi user inputs, the projects are described below. 


In 2001 the Bureau of Rural Science contracted Department of Primary Industries Water and Environment (DPIWE) to create a spatial land use dataset for Tasmania, ‘Tasmanian Land Use – 2002’.  Mapping was at two different scales, 1:25000 for areas of the state under extensive agriculture and 1:100000 for the remainder.  Ancillary datasets and SPOT satellite imagery were obtained to map land use using ALUMC v5.  The mapping strongly attributed ALUMC categories 1, 2, 5 and 6, whereas 3 and 4 were only mapped with plantation data, dairy locations, vineyards (50%) and vegetation data approximating modified pastures.


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In 2009 Landscape Logic, a research hub under the Commonwealth Environmental Research Facilities program required an updated land use spatial layer primarily for nutrient and sediment modelling.  The updated areas were completed for 11 estuaries with a focus on dairy and forestry.

A NRM North, Cradle Coast NRM and NRM South funded project contracted Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) to create a 1:50000 spatial layer ‘Tasmanian Land Use Summer 2009/2010’, attributed to ALUMC v7.  The dataset was created from field work, consultation with local experts, vector datasets, databases and 2009/2010 RapidEye imagery and compiled with successive stages of data collection, interpretation, verification and validation.

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The ‘Tasmanian Land Use 2013’ spatial dataset was derived through spatial analysis of ancillary datasets, interpretation from imagery and expert knowledge through stakeholder/user workshops.  The development of a modelling process to create a partial dataset allows a repeatable process for further iterations of land use mapping.


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The ‘Tasmanian Land Use 2015’ was produced for improved biosecurity outcomes to improve biosecurity risk management and emergency disease preparedness through updated land use mapping of horticulture and intensive animal production.  Land use mapping is completed to the secondary and tertiary level of the ALUMC v8 with commodity information for priority land use classes of dairy grazing, sheds and yards, vineyards, livestock aggregation points and nurseries.

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