What are TSR’s and why are they important?
As early European settlers expanded pastoral activities across Australia, they created droving trails, allowing sheep and cattle to be moved between pastures and to market. Many of these trails followed existing Aboriginal walking routes, with water sources located at convenient intervals.
Much of this network still exists today as public land in NSW and Queensland, in the form of travelling stock routes and travelling stock reserves (collectively called TSRs in NSW, and Stock Routes in Queensland). Travelling stock routes are roads along which livestock can legally be driven, and usually have wide verges on which cattle can graze, whilst travelling stock reserves are smaller, fenced areas for watering stock or camping overnight.
Unlike surrounding lands, TSRs were rarely cleared, are less likely to have had sustained grazing pressure or be subject to pasture improvement or fertiliser application. This means that they retain vital remnant habitat for threatened species and often have higher flora and fauna biodiversity than the surrounding landscape. They are sometimes the best remaining examples of Endangered Ecological Communities, for example, Lowland Grassy Woodlands here on the Far South Coast. In a fragmented landscape, TSR’s can provide important stepping stones for fauna and an important resource for connectivity conservation.
TSR’s can often be significant cultural sites for Aboriginal people, preserving old walking routes (like parts of the Bundian way on the Far South Coast) and providing examples of traditional land management practices and artefacts.
Good management of TSR’s is important in order to preserve their environmental, cultural and social values. TSR’s face a variety of pressures, such as sale, habitat removal, overgrazing, weeds and pest animals.
Local Land Services is now seeking comments about the Draft State Planning Framework for TSR’s for the next 4 years.This is the framework that will be used to develop more detailed regional management plans in 2016. Once the framework is finalised, there will be a chance for the community to contribute to these regional plans next year.
Right now, is the time to say whether you think the framework will be a useful tool for assessing our TSR’s here on the Far South Coast or whether it needs changes.
NSW Travelling Stock Reserves Draft State Planning Framework 2016-19 (481 kb PDF)
TSR State Planning Framework Fact Sheet (141 kb PDF)
Frequently asked questions about the TSR State Planning Framework
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