Why is Effective Soil Management Important?
The management of soil is an important consideration, particularly where soil types may be prone to severe erosion such as in central Australia or are in locations that experience heavy monsoonal rains. Erosion and Sediment Control Plans help to identify where the risks of soil erosion may be during construction and plan for appropriate mitigation measures to ensure that the problem does not occur in the first place. Preventing erosion and soil loss makes sense economically and environmentally and most new subdivision and large developments in the Northern Territory now require that erosion and sediment control plans [ESCPs] are developed and implemented during the construction stage.
What are Areas of Erosion Hazard and Restricted Use Areas?
Under the Soil Conservation and Land Utilisation Act areas of land that are subject to soil ersoion or that are likely to become subject to soil erosion may be declared as Areas of Erosion Hazard. These areas are defined by a map and prescribe measures to be taken in the area to reduce the hazard. The declaration may also require treatment to be carried out on the land and can also determine the number of livestock permitted to be carried and may otherwise restrict the lawful use of the land to which it relates. An example of a declared erosion hazard area is the rural area to the south of Alice Springs where landholders are required to maintain good ground cover to control dust.
Under the Soil Conservation and Land Utilisation Act an area of land may also be declared a Restricted Use Area. These are areas where the land is subject to soil erosion through use by the public. A Restricted Use Area does not permit the use of a motor vehicle, the removal or damage of any vegetation, the removal of sand, gravel, rock, clay or earth, the interference with any erosion prevention works or causing water to be drained over the area. An example of a Restricted Use Area are the areas adjacent to Imaluk and Wagait Beach on Cox Peninsula and adjacent to Bradshaw Drive in Alice Springs.