State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report



Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Queanbeyan

Maps of land use in | 1997 | 2000 | 2004 |

Agriculture was the main landuse in the Queanbeyan City Council Area in the current reporting period, and made up 54% of the total area. The other major landuses were bushland and urban, comprising 17% and 15% of the council area respectively.

The main landuse changes within the current period were the dedication of about 890 hectares of land as nature reserves and an increase in rural residential development of about 280 hectares.

Figure 1. Major landuse in
Queanbeyan City Council Area, June 2004

Source: see About the data

How is the land being used now?

Of the total council area (17,288 hectares), the dominant landuses at the end of the current reporting period were agriculture (54%), bushland (17%) and urban (15%) (see Figure 1). Queanbeyan City comprises the entire area of urban land.

What has changed and why?

The major broadscale landuse changes in the city council area between the end of the current and last reporting periods were decreases in land under bushland and agriculture and an increase in conservation land (see Table 1).

Table 1: Landuse as a percentage of the total gazetted area of Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1997, 2000 and 2004
Landuse Category199720002004
Timber production0.4%0.4%1%

Source: see About the data


The total amount of land within the council area under agricultural production decreased during the current reporting period (see Table 1), by about 65 hectares. This decrease was due predominantly to the gazettal of an area of native grasslands and grassy woodlands (previously mapped as grazing and some urban) as an addition to Queanbeyan Nature Reserve (see Conservation below).

The area of land under grazing and mixed farming decreased by approximately 330 hectares and 15 hectares respectively (see Figure 2), while the area of rural residential lands increased by about 280 hectares.

The increase in rural residential land and corresponding decreases in land used for grazing and mixed farming is part of a longer-term trend within the council area. The increase in rural residential areas is due to Queanbeyan's increasing population and the bigger demand for lifestyle properties in close proximity to Canberra. The financial impacts of these new developments on council include waste management and infrastructure costs. These new developments mean that council has to consider different options for services, such as recycling and waste, for people who live out of town.

New rural residential areas developed within the council area during the current reporting period include Evans Road and an area off Royalla south of Old Cooma Road. In the previous reporting period two areas of rural residential lands were developed. These were an area around Binowee and Cooke Drives to the south of Old Cooma Road and another around Monaro Station Road and Royalla Estate.

No horticultural landuses were recorded within the council area.

Figure 2. Agricultural landuse subcategories in Queanbeyan City Council Area in 1997, 2000 and 2004

graph of agricultural landuse subcategories in Queanbeyan City Council Area

Source: see About the data

Timber production

The amount of land in the council area under timber production more than doubled during the current reporting period (an increase of about 80 hectares), due to a private softwood plantation being established on the council area's western boundary. This land was predominantly privately owned bushland before its conversion to plantation.


The area of bushland appeared to decrease by 910 hectares during the current reporting period, after decreasing by about 70 hectares between 1997 and 2000 (see Table 1). The change was predominantly due to bushland areas being dedicated within reserves (see Conservation) and mapped as conservation in 2004 rather than as bushland, and thus did not reflect an actual decrease in bushland on the ground. A small area of bushland was lost, however, when it was converted to rural residential (see Agriculture).


The area of land under conservation increased by 888 hectares in the current reporting period (see Figure 3), and represented a significant increase in the area of conservation lands within the council area.

The area of land under environmental protection zoning remained stable during the current reporting period (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Conservation subcategories in Queanbeyan City Council Area in 1997, 2000 and 2004

graph of conservation landuse subcategories in Queanbeyan City Council Area

Source: see About the data


The area of land zoned for industrial uses in the council area decreased by about 15 hectares during the current reporting period due to its conversion to residential zonings (see Figure 4). These lands included the Dodsworth area (the Old Brickworks and adjoining lands, and McPherson's land) and the old CSR Humes site in the west of the council area (QCC 2004).

As very limited immediate opportunities exist for expansion of the urban area within Queanbeyan City, developers have tended to redevelop single urban dwellings into multi-storey medium density residences such as units (QCC 2004). As the population of the city has increased, this has partially accommodated the demand for housing within the Queanbeyan area (QCC 2004). Council reported in 2004 that most broad-acre residential development within the council area at that time was occurring in the Jerrabomberra, North Terrace and parts of Dodsworth (QCC 2004).

As at September 2003, there were only about 1.6 years of available residential land within Queanbeyan City under the current residential zonings (QCC 2004). Several sites have been earmarked for future residential development within the city council area but are subject to various constraints, and further studies are required for many of the sites prior to them proceeding. These areas include Tralee, The Poplars, Environa and Googong (QCC 2004). If approved and they proceed, these developments have the potential to produce about 5,000 residential allotments (QCC 2004).

Four hectares of land previously zoned 'residential' was gazetted within Queanbeyan Nature Reserve during the reporting period (see Agriculture and Conservation above).

Figure 4. Urban subcategories* in Queanbeyan City Council Area in 1997, 2000 and 2004

graph of urban landuse subcategories in Queanbeyan City Council Area

* The areas of some subcategories are too low to appear in the graph; Source: see About the data

Planning changes

Queanbeyan City Council Area is comprised of the former Queanbeyan City and part of Yarrowlumla Shire. Each of the former councils had developed a Local Environment Plan (LEP), in 1998 for Queanbeyan City and in 2002 for Yarrowlumla Shire. Queanbeyan City Council is currently reviewing these LEPs and will prepare a new, standardised LEP to cover the entire council area. This plan should be finalised by the next reporting period.

About the data

| Landuse classification | Data sources | Analysis methods |

The landuse maps and statistics reported here were prepared either by Agrecon or the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment, using sources that included State Government agency and council data, and satellite image classification. The primary purpose of the mapping was to assess trends in landuse change and not to provide an accurate account of the actual areas changed.

Queanbeyan City Council provided Local Environment Plan information and cadastral data. In general the data provided by council and State Government departments showed a higher level of detail than satellite classifications. Therefore, these layers were usually used as the primary source of data and supplemented by satellite imagery (Landsat data and SPOT VI data) as needed (mostly for agricultural landuses and bushland).

All landuse maps for Queanbeyan City Council Area were provided to council for checking and correction, particularly for 2004 and 2000.

All percentages shown in this indicator are a percentage of the council area and not a percentage of the landuse type. The areal extents of the various landuse types (hectares) were calculated from data that had been adjusted (normalised) to take account of (usually minor) differences between the size of Queanbeyan City Council Area as gazetted by council, and the size calculated from spatial data.


QCC—see Queanbeyan City Council

Queanbeyan City Council (2004) Queanbeyan City 2004 Structure Plan, Queanbeyan City Council, Queanbeyan, viewed 7 April 2006,