Tropical Grasslands (2000) Volume 34, 242–250

The nature and management of rehabilitated pastures on open-cut coal mines in central Queensland

ANDREW GRIGG1, MAX SHELTON2 and BEN MULLEN2

1Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, and
2School of Land and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

A significant proportion of current and past rehabilitation efforts on open-cut coal mines in central Queensland involve the sowing of a number of improved pasture grasses and legumes. This provides a rapid surface cover for erosion control and the basis for grazing as a potential land use after mining has ceased. Grazing of the pastures has not occurred to date, and they possess some notable differences from those on the surrounding pastoral country. Some features of these pastures are discussed in this overview of rehabilitated pastures, including their construction, composition and performance. Surface stability, rather than productivity, is the overriding issue in the establishment and maintenance of these systems. Studies demonstrating the capacity of the reconstructed pastures to support grazing have recently commenced, but it is suggested that more active management of rehabilitated pastures (than occurs in nearby pastoral enterprises) is required after the establishment phase.

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