Questionnaire design, sampling strategy and preliminary findings: a comparison of the Burdekin and Wet Tropics regions

Farr, Marina, Eagle, Lynne, and Hay, Rachel (2017) Questionnaire design, sampling strategy and preliminary findings: a comparison of the Burdekin and Wet Tropics regions. Report. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, https://nesptropical.edu.au/index.php/interim-reports-round-2/.

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Abstract

This report provides a preliminary analysis and comparison of the initial data collected from land managers in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics (WT) regions, mainly in the form of descriptive statistics. It also provides provisional recommendations for key stakeholders regarding possible actions that should be considered in future interactions with land managers. Individual area-specific reports have already been provided to each of the two NRM organisations in whose regions the data was collected. This report combines the findings from the two individual reports to provide a single document comparing findings across the two regions. There were a number of open-ended questions – the responses to these have been collated and are contained in the individual NRM reports.

Two questionnaires were developed – one for cane growers and one for graziers. When developing questionnaires, we sought to keep questions similar in each questionnaire wherever possible, to enable comparisons between both groups (e.g. socio-demographics, attitudes and motivations) and between the case study areas (e.g. cane growers in Wet Tropics and cane growers in Burdekin). The final versions of the questionnaire are included as Appendices in Farr et al. (2017a, b).

The sample population in the preliminary analysis was obtained from a membership database of cane growers in the Wet Tropics and cane and cattle producers supplied by NQ Dry Tropics (NQDT). Each respondent was allocated a unique identifier that enable the researchers to deidentify the data. The identifier will allow the researchers to track changes in future responses across the three years and to analyse those changes.

Insights from the preliminary analysis of data collected in round one show that the respondents:

• Have a mature profile - the median age of cane growers is 57 years in the WT and 52 in the Burdekin region. The median age of Burdekin graziers is also 52 years, which is significantly greater than the median age of the Australian population (37 years).

• Own or own and manage their property (65 per cent of cane growers in the WT, and 80 per cent of cane growers and 84 per cent of graziers in the Burdekin).

• Have lengthy land management experience - (average of 29.2 years in the WT, 18.9 years for graziers and 20.9 years for cane growers in the Burdekin), often following earlier generations on properties: maintaining traditions and heritage is important (63 per cent of cane growers in the WT, and over 50 per cent of cane growers and graziers in the Burdekin indicated this to be of the highest importance).

• Do not make decisions in isolation (43 per cent of cane growers in the Wet Tropics, 41 per cent of cane growers and 66 per cent of graziers in the Burdekin) – family / extended family are commonly involved.

• Are positive about overall quality of life (91 per cent of cane growers in the Wet Tropics, >90 per cent of cane growers and graziers in the Burdekin).

• Have no significant plans to change future practices (>95 per cent of cane growers in the Wet Tropics, 95 per cent of cane growers and 93 per cent of graziers in the Burdekin).

• Do not believe their farming practice adversely impacts water quality in local streams, rivers, and waterways (42 per cent of cane growers in the Wet Tropics, 61 per cent of cane growers and 30 per cent of graziers in the Burdekin).

• Do not believe that the cane/grazing industry plays a significant role in the declining health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) (49 per cent of cane growers in the WT, 66 per cent of cane growers and 39 per cent of graziers in the Burdekin).

• Have some tendency to shift the blame related to water quality and the health of the Great Barrier Reef to other industries, organisations and individuals.

Item ID: 58377
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: Burdekin, Wet Tropics, Great Barrier Reef, Water Quality, Questionnaire Design, Sampling Strategy
Copyright Information: © James Cook University, 2017 Creative Commons Attribution Questionnaire Design, Sampling Strategy and Preliminary Findings: The Wet Tropics region is licensed by the James Cook University for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia licence. For licence conditions see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Additional Information:

NESP Project 2.1.3 Interim report 5

Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP)
Projects and Grants: Project 2.1.3
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 04:47
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