The pastoral industry of the Northern Territory faces a suite of environmental and economic challenges associated with, inter alia, export markets, costs of production, climate change, change in government policies, and potential cattle diseases. A participatory planning process was adopted by the industry's principal representative body, the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association to explore the complexity and extent of possible impacts on the industry, and to initiate conversations about anticipating potential futures. The process was facilitated by a system dynamics model, named the Pastoral Properties Future Simulator (PPFS). The PPFS combined a systems modelling approach of the pastoral industry with scenario explorations to gauge the likely impacts on, and possible industry adaptations to, beef price variation, productivity improvements, diversification of land use, climate change, climate policy and employment. The PPFS was used as an interactive tool during stakeholder workshops and results underpinned discussions about impacts and adaptation strategies. Land use and enterprise diversification emerged as key strategies for building enterprise and industry resilience, but with regionally diverging emphasis. The research illustrates the benefits of applied systems dynamic modelling for participatory strategic planning in the face of an uncertain future. The PPFS helped industry members and stakeholders understand the complexity of drivers affecting the industry's future, risk profiles, possible adaptation strategies and trade-offs.
Puig, C., Greiner, R., Huchery, C., Perkins, I., Bowen, L., Collier, N., & Garnett, S. (2011). Beyond cattle: potential futures of the pastoral industry in the Northern Territory. Rangeland Journal, 33(2), 181-194. https://doi.org/10.1071/RJ10043