You are viewing an archived copy of this website captured Thu Aug 08 09:15:48 AEST 2013

 Home | About Us | Feedback | Help | Site Map
Managing Our Natural Resources
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Home > Managing Our Natural Resources > Land Management & Soils > Land and Soil Resource Assessment > Land Capability > The Land Capability Classification System

The Land Capability Classification System

Using Land Capability Information
- Regional
- District
- Catchment
- Farm
Further Information

DPIW uses the Land Capability Classification System (LCCS) to assess, classify and map land according to its ability to support a range of crops on a long term sustainable basis. The evaluation is based on the degree of limitation imposed on that land by a variety of physical factors which include erosion, soils, wetness and climate. Land is evaluated on the basis of the range of potential crops, productivity, ease of management and risk of degradation. Only broadacre agricultural crops and pastoral activities are considered, and only where they occur on private freehold and leased Crown land.

Land capability assessment is an interpretive and somewhat subjective system for evaluating a suite of resource information. It provides a ranking of the ability of an area to support a range of agricultural activities on a sustainable basis.

The classification system comprises seven classes ranked in order of increasing degree of limitation in relation to agricultural use, and decreasing order of agricultural versatility. Class 1 is the best land and Class 7 the poorest. Class 4 is considered marginal for cropping activities.

Land Capability Classes on Private Land in Tasmania
TOTAL 2493699

The State Policy for the Protection of Agricultural Land seeks to protect prime agricultural land from conversion to non-agricultural uses. It achieves this by setting constraints as to how prime land can be used. Prime land is considered to be land that is classified as Class 1, 2 or 3 by the agricultural land classification system, Tasmania.

For further Information see the State Policy on the Protection of Agricultural Land 2000 on the Resource Planning and Development website: are now leaving our site. DPIPWE is not responsible for the content of the web site to which you are going. The link does not constitute any form of endorsement

Using Land Capability Information


Small scale surveys (eg. 1:100 000) include Class information only. Planners and administrators require the best available resource data, including land capability information, for reliable development planning and informed decision making. Land capability classification can be used for:
  • providing a land quality inventory for Tasmania's agricultural land resource;
  • identifying areas of prime agricultural land;
  • assisting with regional strategy planning; and
  • resolving State level land use conflicts.


Medium scale surveys (eg. 1:50 000) include Class and Sub-class information. At the district level, information on the type of limitation is necessary for planners, consultants and land managers involved in urban and rural development planning. Activities which may benefit from this level of land capability information include:
  • transport, telecommunication and transmission line route planning;
  • urban and rural development planning;
  • location of irrigation schemes;
  • determining landfill and effluent disposal site locations; and
  • residential subdivision and industrial development planning.Go to top of page


Medium and large scale surveys (eg. 1:50 000 and 1:25 000 scale), with Class, Sub-class and sometimes Unit information. There is an increasing use of land capability information for integrated catchment management in Tasmania. Besides providing more detail for those users at the District level this information can assist with:
  • identifying areas for specific land uses (eg. vineyards);
  • defining management options;
  • providing information for detailed planning and policy development; and
  • identifying areas at risk from degradation.


Large scale farm/site surveys (eg. 1:10 000 to 1:5 000 scale) include all three levels of land capability classification information (Class, Sub-class and Unit). Land managers utilise the land capability classification system to address sustainability issues on their properties by ensuring land use practices are matched with the ability of the land to support those practices. Similarly, detailed land capability information can be utilised for urban development planning. Examples of uses at this level include:
  • whole farm planning (eg. determining crop selection and rotation, and location of farm infrastructure such as shelterbelts, roadways, new fence lines, dams, water easements and conservation earth works);
  • preventing resource degradation;
  • urban site assessment; and
  • run-off control and drainage system planning.

Further Information:

Contact: Land Resource Assessment
Rob Moreton
Land Resource Assessment Officer
171 Westbury Road PROSPECT TAS 7250 TAS
Phone: 03 6336 5441
Fax: 03 6336 5365

Go to top of page

Tasmania Online

Tasmania Online | Service Tasmania

This page - - was last published on 26 April 2013 by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Questions concerning its content can be sent to Internet Coordinator by using the feedback form, by mail to GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 7001, or by telephone.

Please read our disclaimer and copyright statements governing the information we provide on this site.

A text version of this page is also available.