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Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy


The Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy (CYPLUS) was a joint initiative between the Australian and Queensland Governments.

  • Stage 1 involved data collection, issues identification and analysis of opportunities and constraints.
  • Stage 2 involved the development of a coordinated strategy for sustainable land use and economic and social development.
  • Stage 3 consisted of implementation and evaluation.

Data and Resources

Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resources Analysis Program: Digital Geological Data for Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

1.43 MB

Geospatial information gathered previously was assembled and analysed to create a single integrated digital geological map of the CYPLUS area derived from the appropriate previous 1:250,000 series maps however with amendments and new information incorporated whre possible.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resources Analysis Program: Development, Maintenance and Coordination of the Geographic Information System (GIS) for Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

3.04 MB

The CYPLUS GIS was created to support the collection, anaysis and display of natural resource, social, and economic data which arrose from the enactment of stage 1 of the Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy. This was a project carried out in Janurary 1992 - June 1994 with the purpose of assembling GIS-based digital data into a GIS which could be used to serve local needs.
A Memorandum of Understanding was created end enterred by CYPLUS and all other participating agencies involved in this progam. Multi-user license agreements were negotiated with two seperate commerical data suppliers to enable data sharing among the previously nominated CYPLUS participants. A users manual was prepared and distritued to the relevant agecies and shortly after a follow up manual was distributed explaining the lodging of data sets, metadata records, and map preparation for reports.
Base data was assembled, the base data sets including; the CYPLUS boundary, detailed drainage, elevation, a Landsat TM mosaic, towns, homesteads, and a copy of the land titles within the region. These data sets were submitted directly to NRIC or through the Department of Lands to the NRIC depending on their source where they were checked for quality and completeness prior to incorporation into the CYPLUS GIS.
It was intended that as stage 1 of CYPLUS finished that users of the CYPLUS GIS would be able to evaluate land use options and management strategies using an information system that would support all of their needs and help create long term management regimes.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Land Use Program: Current Administrative Structures on Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

2.78 MB

This project was commisioned in 1994 by CYPLUS to provide a description of the instiutional structures on the Cape York Peninsula that have relevance for land use planning and resource management. This report was conducted relying on existing written material and information, giving a snapshot of the agencies as of September 1994.
A feature of the administractive arrangements for land and resource use in the Cape York Peninsula at time were instrinsically complex with numerous agencies having broadly similar roles, while other functions were spit between three elvels of government allowing for potential overlap, duplication, and gaps within provisions and government services.
An aim of CYPLUS stage 2 was the need to examine the and use decision-making processes and mechanisms and recommend a system which clearly identifies the responsibilities between levels of government and between individual agencies within each level.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Land Use Program: Economic Assessment and Secondary Tertiary Industries of Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

5.26 MB

This report was commisioned by the CYPLUS task force for the Centre for Applied Economic Research and Analysis (CAERA) at James Cook Univeristy of North Queensland to perform a cross-sectoral economic assesment of the regional economy in the Cape York Peninsula.
The economy of the Cape York Peninsula has compromises individual nodes of activity with each node possesing differing industry structures depending on the natural resources of the surrounding area and the levels of government intervention. Each node interacts with other nodes as well as other areas of Queensland and Australia.
The principal nodes within the CYPLUS area are Thursday Island, Weipa, Cooktown, Bamaga, Napranum, Kowanyama, Aurukun, and Hopevale and in 1991 the community services sector was the largest employer for persons within the CYPLUS area accounting for 36% of the labour force. Mining became the second largest employer in 1991 acconting for 13% of total employment.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Land Use Program: Fire on Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

1.08 MB

This report was commisioned by CYPLUS and brings together published material on fire that is of relevance to the Cape York Peninsula. The report includes information on the characteristics of fire, sources of fire, the environmental effects of fire, attitudes of fire, how fire is used in the major land-use systems and the regulations and responsibilities associated with fire.
Aboriginal people have used fire as part of their land management practices for thousands of years and fire has since been adopted as a land management tool by pastoralists and National Park managers alike. Modern technology has seen the tools used for lighting fires shfit from flints and fire sticks to matches, drip torches, and aerial incediaries.
The report found that the majority of fires on the Cape York Peninsula are grass fires that are first lt as the dry season sets in and the grasses dry out. The fire seaosn begins earlier in the south than in the north. The first fires were found to be cool and patchy, extinguishing within a few hours of ignition. Fire removes and realeases nutrients necessary for plant growth, especially for tropical ecosystems. There is little evidence to suggest that fire regimes cause long term soil degradation.
While fire may kill or disadvantage native wildlife within the burn area, many species require fires in order to effectively gather food, find shelter, and disperse and establish new territories. Fire is often used by pastoralists to maximise cattle production and as an aid in controlling and locating large numbers of stock.
The report found that of a major concern to most people with an interest in Cape York is the prevalance of widespread late dry season fires. Networks of artificial and natural barriers married with large areas of early season fuel reduction burns appeared to be the most effecive way to restrict the movement of such dry season fires.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Land Use Program: Indigenous Management of Land and Sea and Traditional Activities in Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

7.71 MB

The Indigenous Mannagement of Land and Sea (IMLS) report was compiled by anthropologists and other specialists whose contributions relied on their long standinging familiarity with the Cape York Peninsula and the conditions of it's indigenous peoples. The IMLS study was comissioned by CYPLUS to document how the indigenous people of Cape York manage resources and are moving to manage resource in the future. This project aimed to fill a significant gap in the CYPLUS process, being the only study in the Land Use Program exclusively addressing the Cape York Peninsula's indigenous land and sea owners.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resources Analysis Program: Groundwater Resources of Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

4.89 MB

The study area of this report covered some 143,000 square kilometre, and is remote and isolated from all Australian population cenrs. This area includes Cape York Peninsula from north of Cooktown and some selected areas of the Torres Strait Islands. The area had a small population of approximately 10,000 (1986)

This report prevented an overview of the Cape York Peninsula's groundwater resources and features related to their ongoing use and protection. The report collated and summarised information fromreports, drilling, geophysics, and a large scale groundwater chemistry analysis program to asses groundwater quality.

While Cape York (at the time) had abundant quantities of groundwater and while monsoonal weather patterns have an obvious effect on surface water levels, groundwater was found to be a particularly more reliable water resource. The quality of the groundwater was found to be closely related to the geology of host rocks with the main resources occuring in Cainozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks.

The study area had been divided into several major regions based on both formal and informal tectonic units. These are the lower Palaeozoic Coen and Yarnbo Inliers, the Palaeozoic Hodgkinson Province and Cape York Pyroclastics, the Mesozoic Carpentaria and Laura Basins and the Cainozoic Karumba Basin.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resources Analysis Program: Freshwater Fish and Aquatic Habitat Survey of Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

9.11 MB

Prior to the release of this report there was a poor knowledge of tropical freshwater ecology in Australia, especially on the Cape York Peninsula. The report found that West coast rivers were generally intermittent with large catchment areas and flows which fluctuate according to the monsoonal climate. Four general habitat types were covered by this study; savannah flood plains, wet tropics. dune fields, and perennial flood plain rivers. Recreational fishing was found to be poplar and widespread across Cape York with commerical fishing occasionally occuring in estuaries but rarely in fresh water with the exception of Lakefield and the Archer river. The aims of this study were to document native aquatic species distribution, habitat preferences, and establish a database and Geographical Information System in order to identify ares of biological significance.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resource Analysis Program: Flora Data and Modelling for Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

4.87 MB

The Flora Data and Modellng Project was one of three projects undertaken by ERIN for the Natural Resources Analysis Program of CYPLUS stage 1.

Prior to this report the existing data and information about the flora of the Cape York Peninsula was widely scattered across numerous agencies and individuals within many different formats. The purpose of this project was to make information on the flora of the Cape York Peninsula readily available to environmental decision makers in digital form through the Relational Database Management Systems and Geographic Information Systems.

The objectives of the project were to collate existing flora data on the Cape York Peninsula and integrate this with the newly collected data from the previous NRAP project; the Vegetation Survey of North Queensland. Further ojectives were to analyse the data for gaps and to identify the distribution of certain species and finally provide suitable digital tools for accessing this data in the CYPLUS Geographic Information System.


Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy: Natural Resources Analysis Program: Insect Fauna Survey of Cape York Peninsula
pdfReference Document

3.83 MB

It was estimated that two out of every three species of living thing on the Cape York Peninsula are insects. This report surveyed a cross section of the Cape York Peninsula's insects and this provides information on the largest portion of the regions biodiversity.
A total of 22505 identified insect speciments were collected on the Cape York Peninsula which represented 695 species; these were recorded in a relational database. These insects represented species from 9 seperate insect orders: Odonata (dragonflies, damselflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), Isoptera (termites), Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, crickets), Hemiptera (bugs, cicadas, etc.), Neuroptera (lacewings), Coleoptera (beetles), Lepidoptera (moths, butterflies) and Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants).
This document summarises records from ERIN and the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Sport and Territories in a series of tables accompanied by a series of maps depicting collection records, distribution records for a small sample set of species and the predicted distributions of species extrapolated by a digital BIOCLIM analysis.
These records were derived from pre existing collections from the Australian National Insect collection, the CSIRO Division of Entomolgy in Canberra, the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Collection in Mareeba, and the Queensland Museum in Brisbane as well as a two year survey of the Cape York Peninsula which was funded by CYPLUS.



Dataset info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.