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With agriculture at its heart, major land uses of the area are mixed dryland farming and biodiversity conservation.

The Ngarkat and Billiatt Conservation Parks protect significant natural assets while the rest of the subregion is used for broad acre farming and ground-water irrigated crops and pastures.

This page provides an overview of the things people value about the landscapes, livelihoods and lifestyles of the Southern Murray Mallee subregion, what is driving change, and what needs to be worked on to ensure the values supported by natural resources persist for the future.

What makes this subregion special

Some of the features we value in Southern Murray Mallee subregion that are supported by natural resources include:

  • Aboriginal cultural values
  • agricultural production from dryland and irrigated cropping and grazing, and economic benefits of sand mining
  • biodiversity conservation including threatened species; contains large areas of intact mallee vegetation
  • honey production from Ngarkat shrublands
  • tourism and recreation values associated with conservation parks.

Drivers of change

The main drivers of change to natural resources identified in the Southern Murray Mallee subregion are:

  • access to markets and changing commodity prices
  • access to labour
  • climate change and annual variability.

Impacts of climate change

Potential natural resource impacts of climate change projections in the Southern Murray Mallee subregion include:

  • increased risk of fire, catastrophic biodiversity loss and weed invasion after fire
  • decline in winter rainfall, increase in daily mean, minimum and maximum temperatures and increase in frequency of heatwaves affecting crop production, native vegetation, soil health and erosion risk
  • increased potential for invasion from new pest plants and animals, and increased risk of animal plagues.

What we need to work on

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